This study offers a multilevel analysis of the form of the third movement of Mahler’s Second Symphony providing three frameworks (those of a sophisticated trio form, a bipartite idiosyncratic form, and an imaginary, ‘endless’ form). Conceiving of the formal dimensions of the Scherzo of Mahler’s Second Symphony as ontological models, I will contextualize these with reference to the writings of E.T.A. Hoffmann, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche. Among the new discoveries of this investigation, I will outline the implications of three hitherto neglected circumstances: first, the movement’s first extended unit itself constitutes a self-contained symphonic scherzo movement; next, the movement can be described as two succeeding permutations of the same set of thematic materials; finally, there is a crucial recurrence suggesting the infinitude of the form. Instead of creating an ill-conceived dichotomy between form as a secondary structure and the meaningful ‘narrative’ in negotiation with formal questions, I wish to regard form as a primary source of a work’s meaning. At the same time, I wish to regard the form of the movement as an efficient means of channelling its dialogue with the genre of scherzo. Listened to as a composer’s self-positioning in the field of the masters of symphony, the movement reveals Mahler’s successful attempt at breaking away from the Brucknerian model of scherzo and, at the same time, proudly parading his virtuosity in applying some elements of that model in a different context.
Close, yet distant – this perhaps captures the nature of present relationships with the socio-cultural elements integral to Mahler’s identity as a composer, conductor and opera-house manager. This identity seems to be close to us because the points
Kaplan, Richard A. 'Temporal fusion and climax in the symphonies of Mahler', The journal of musicology: A quarterly review of music history, criticism, analysis, and performance practice 14/2, Spring 1996, 213
Ödön von Mihalovich (1842–1929) gehörte zu jenen Persönlichkeiten, der Gustav Mahlers Leben vor allem in seinem künstlerischen Werdegang entscheidend beeinflußte. Die Musiksammlung der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek Wien verwahrt innerhalb des Bestandes „Internationales Musiker Brief Archiv“ 41 Briefe in Photokopie von Mihalovich an Mathilde Wesendonck (1828–1902) aus den Jahren 1889–97. Diese Briefe widerspiegeln ein genaues Psychogramm von Mihalovich, eine Charakteristik, wie sie selten in Briefen zum Ausdruck kommt. Es sind insgesamt 8 Briefe aus den Jahren 1889 1893 in denen über Mahler gesporchen wird. Das Bild von Mahler für Mihalovich war ein ganz besonderes, ein glorofiziertes Bild, das uns von Mahler entgegentritt, fast einer Erscheinung gleich, die über dem Ungarischen Königlichen Opernhaus leuchten begann, und dann wie ein Schatten verschwand.
The psychological concept of the uncanny
has been established in studies by E. Jentsch (1906) and S. Freud (1919). On the grounds of cultural and textual references, which can be found in these studies, one might regard the uncanny as a discourse construct contained in various literary, evaluative, and visual texts stretching from the late 18th century to the First World War. In my paper, I wish to discuss the assumption that the scherzo genre, commonly seen as founded on Haydn’s opus 33 string quartets and coming to a first fruition in various Beethoven cycles shows a particular propensity to act as the musical vehicle for an uncanny quality. The closer scrutiny of two “programmatic” scherzi (those are the 3rd movement of Mahler’s 2nd Symphony and
by Dukas) might shed light on the advantages of a genre-oriented approach when musical meaning is concerned.
Questions of source, style and interpretation have been central to the work of the Budapest Bartók Archives over its first half-century. The author looks at various issues of work genesis, structure, and interpretation, in works by Mahler and Riley, before considering the “definitive” state of Bartók’s Viola Concerto and the Sonata for Solo Violin, and the current availability of different editions of Bartók’s late works. He then outlines ways in which correspondence, both to and from Bartók, illuminates the rich and varied path from sketch to score to work première, and on to the earliest stages of performing interpretation. The paper concludes with seven examples where performance practice is enlightened by observations in Bartók’s correspondence: innovative work combination, comparative work quality or difficulty, compositional archetypes and models, processes of work revision, song-text translations, section or movement timings, and issues of correction versus revision.