‘Symphony No. 3 in D Minor’

Symphony No. 3 in D Minor – Introduction

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Listening Guide

The Work

Date(s) of Composition: 1895-1896; published by Weinberger in 1898; Universal Edition in 1901; revised 1906.
Place of Composition: Steinbach
Premiere: 9 June 1902, Krefeld

Orchestration: 4 flutes (one doubles with piccolo); 4 oboes (4th doubles with English horn); 3 clarinets in B-flat (3rd doubles with bass clarinet); 2 clarinets in E-flat (2d doubles with clarinet in B-flat); 4 bassoons (4th doubles with contrabassoon); Posthorn in B-flat; 8 horns; 4 trumpets (2 additional if possible); 4 trombones; bass tuba; 2 harps; strings; percussion: 2 timpani (3 to a player); 2 glockenspiels (sounding an octave higher than noted); tambourine; tamtam; triangle; cymbals; small drum; a few small drums; bass drum; cymbals; ruthe; 4 to 6 untuned bells; boys choir; alto soloist; women’s chorus.
Performers: Martha Lipton, mezzo-soprano; Women’s Chorus of the Schola Cantorum; Boys’ Choir of the Transfiguration; New York Philharmonic under Leonard Bernstein
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Text(s): Excerpt from Thus Spake Zarathustra, Part III, Das andere Tanzlied by Friedrich Nietzsche (also known as The Midnight Song); Armer Kinder Bettlerlied from Des Knaben Wunderhorn, II, 375.
Program(s): Although Mahler did not supply narrative program notes akin to the ones he wrote for the Second Symphony, he did give each movement a title, revised the titles several times, and finally eliminated them from both programs for post-premiere performances and from the published edition. I have listed his final version of these titles below, because they give clues of Mahler’s intentions regarding the meaning of the individual movements as well as the symphony as a whole.

Midsummer Morning Dream
Part I:
Introduction: Pan Awakes
Movement 1: Summer Marches In (Procession of Bacchus)
Part II:
Movement 2: What the Flowers in the Meadow Tell Me
Movement 3: What the Animals in the Forest Tell Me
Movement 4: What Man Tells Me
Movement 5: What the Angels Tell Me
Movement 6: What Love Tells Me (What God Tells Me)

Symphony No. 3 in D Minor – First Movement

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Listening Guide

The Work

Tempo: Kräftig . Entschieden. (Forcefully and decidedly)
Key: D minor to F major with numerous intermittent modulations
Time Signature: 4/4, changing to various other meters throughout the movement
Form: Extended sonata form with introduction and coda
Principal Material: funeral march and popular military march in alternation

Symphony No. 3 in D Minor – Second Movement

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Listening Guide

The Work

Tempo: Tempo di Menuetto. Sehr mässig. (Very moderate)
Key: A major (with contrasting sections in F-sharp minor)
Time Signature: mostly triple meter (3/4, 3/8, 9/8) with occasional duple meter (2/4)
Basic rhythm: minuet or slow ländler alternating with quick-step dance rhythms
Form: ABABA (rondo with variations)

Symphony No. 3 in D Minor – Third Movement

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Listening Guide

The Work

Tempo: Comodo. Scherzando. Ohne Hast. (Without Haste).
Key: C minor/major (Trio in F major/minor)
Time Signature: 2/4 alternating with 6/8 (6/8 in Trio)
Rhythm: binary dance form (bourrée) as in Ablösung im Sommer
Form: Rondo (ABACABCA)

Symphony No. 3 in D Minor – Fourth Movement

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Listening Guide

The Work

Tempo: Sehr langsam. Misterioso.
Key: D major/minor
Time Signature: 2/2, changing to 3/3 (with one measure of 3/4)
Form: through-composed song form (Introduction-ABAB)
Text: The Midnight Song from Also Sprach Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche (sung by alto voice)

O Mensch! O Mensch!
Gib Acht! Gib Acht!
Wie spricht die tiefe Mitternacht?
Ich schief! Ich schief!
Aus tiefem Traum bin ich erwacht!
Die Welt ist tief!
Und tiefer, als der tag gedacht!

O Mensch! O Mensch!
Tief! Tief ist ihr Weh!
Lust! Lust tiefer noch als Herzelied!

Weh spricht, Vergeh!
Weh spricht, Vergeh!
Doch alle Lust will Ewigkeit!
Will tiefe tiefe Ewigkeit!

O Man! O Man!
Take heed! Take heed!
What says the deep midnight?
I sleep! I sleep!
Out of a deep dream am I awakened!
The world is deep!
And deeper than the day is aware!

O Man! O Man!
Deep, deep is his woe!
Joy! Joy is deeper than heart’s sorrow!

Woe says: Begone!
Woe says: Begone!
But all Joy wants Eternity!
Wants deep, deep Eternity!

Symphony No. 3 in D Minor – Fifth Movement

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Listening Guide

The Work

Tempo: Lustig in Tempo und keck in Ausdruck (In a merry tempo and bold expression).
Key: F major (D minor in the middle section)
Time Signature: 4/4
Rhythm: lively march.
Form: strophic (ABCA)
Orchestration: alto solo, women’s and children’s choruses, 4 flutes, 3 horns, 5 clarinets (including bass clarinet), 3 bassoons, glockenspiel, 2 harps, strings without violins.
Text: Armer Kinder Bettlerlied from Des Knaben Wunderhorn

Bimm, bamm, bimm, bamm.
Es sungen drei Engel einen süßen Gesang:
Mit Freuden es selig in dem Himmel klang.
Sie jauchzten fröhlich auch dabei.
Daß Petrus sei von Sünden frei.

Und als der Herr Jesus zu Tische saß,
Mit seinem zwölf Jüngern das Abendmahl aß:

Da sprach der Herr Jesus: Was steht du denn hier?
Wenn ich dich anseh, so weinest du mir!

Und sollt ich nicht weinen, du gütiger Gott.
Ich hab übertreten die zehn Gebot.
Ich gehe und weine ja bitterlich.
Da sollst ja nicht weinen!
Ach komm und erbarme dich über mich!

Hast du denn übertreten die zehen Gebot,
So fall auf die Knie und bete zu Gott!
Liebe nur Gott in alle Zeit!
So wirst du erlangen die himmlische Freud,

Die himmlische Freud ist eine selige Stadt;
Die himmlische Freud, die kein Ende mehr hat.
Die himmlische Freude war Petro bereit
Durch Jesus und allen zur Seligkeit.

Bimm, bamm, bimm, bamm.

Ding, dong, ding, dong.
Three angels sang a sweet song:
In blissful joy it sounded through Heaven,
They shouted joyfully all the while
That Peter was free of sin.

And when the Lord Jesus sat at table
And at supper with his twelve disciples,

Lord Jesus spoke: what doest thou here?
As I behold thee, thou weepest?

And should I not weep, thou merciful God?
I have broken the Ten Commandments.
I go my way with bitter tears.
Thou shalt not weep!
Ah, come and have mercy on me!

If thou hast broken the Ten Commandments
Fall on your knees and pray to God!
Love only God in eternity!
So shalt thou know heavenly joys.

Heavenly joy is a happy city.
Heavenly joy knows no end.
Heavenly joy was granted Peter
By Jesus and for us eternal felicity.

Ding, dong, ding, dong.

Symphony No. 3 in D Minor – Sixth Movement

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Listening Guide

The Work

Tempo: Langsam, ruhevoll, empfunden. (Slow, restful, deeply felt).
Key: D major (modulating to F-sharp minor, C sharp minor, etc.)
Time Signature: 4/4.
Form: Elements of rondo and sonata form with variations on two principal themes.