‘Symphony No. 6 In A Minor’

Symphony No. 6 In A Minor – Introduction

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Listening Guide

The Work

Date(s) of composition: 1903-4; published by C. F. Kahnt Nachfolger, Leipzig (1906) in three editions (a full orchestral score, study score and a four-hand piano transcription by Alexander von Zemlinsky) were published, the second of which reversed the order of the middle movements from Scherzo-Andante to Andante-Scherzo and contained substantial revisions in the orchestration. The orchestration of the revised Critical Edition published in 1998 by the International Gustav Mahler Gesellschaft which contains numerous revisions from the original published versions based upon reported changes Mahler is claimed to have made in the score after performances.

Place(s) of composition: Maiernigg and Vienna
Premiere: Essen, 27 May 1905, Mahler conducting the Tonkünstlerfest of the Allgemeine Deutsche Musikverein.

Orchestration: piccolo, 4 flutes, 4 oboes, English horn, clarinets in D and E-flat, 3 clarinets in A and B-flat, bass clarinet, 4 bassoons, contrabassoon, 8 horns, 6 trumpets, 3 trombones, bass trombone, tuba, timpani, percussion (big drum, side drum, tam-tam, cymbals, triangle, glockenspiel, cow bells, deep bells, rute and hammer), xylophone, 2 harps, celesta and strings.
Performers: Vienna Philharmonic under Leonard Bernstein
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Movements: 4 movements organized in modified traditional symphonic form:
1. Allegro energico, ma non troppo
{2. Scherzo (Wuchtig)} or Andante
{3. Andante} or Scherzo (Wuchtig)
4. Finale (Allegro moderato)

Symphony No. 6 In A Minor – First Movement

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Listening Guide

The Work


Tempo: Allegro energico, ma non troppo. Heftig, aber markig (Vigorous, but emphatic).
Key: A minor (second theme in F major; recapitulation in A major with the second theme in D major)
Time Signature: 4/4
Form: Modified Sonata form

Symphony No.6 In A Minor – Second Movement

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Listening Guide

The Work

Tempo: Wuchtig (weighty or powerful) (3/8 ausschlagen ohne zu schleppen) (3/8 meter not too dragging).
Key: A minor (First trio in F major and Second trio in D major)
Time Signature: 3/8 (numerous meter shifts throughout the trios)
Form: Scherzo with two Trios (ABA’B'AACoda)

Symphony No. 6 In A Minor – Third Movement

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Listening Guide

The Work

Tempo: Andante Moderato
Key: E-flat major (second theme in G minor, then in E minor and A minor) with the Development in E minor and 2 episodes, the first in E minor then E major, the second in C major.
Time Signature: 4/4
Form: Rondo form. (ABA’B'A’Coda)

Symphony No. 6 In A Minor – Fourth Movement

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Listening Guide

The Work

Tempo: Allegro Moderato (Sostenuto); allegro energico
Principal key: A minor with various subsidiary keys (C minor, D major and minor, F-sharp and B-flat major, A major, F minor, E-flat major and G major and minor)
Time Signature: alla breve opening leads to the principal 4/4 meter
Form: Extended sonata form with rondo elements (expositions merges with development sections and opening measures become ritornello)