‘Symphony No. 7 in B Minor/E Minor’

Symphony No. 7 In B Minor/E Minor – Introduction

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Listening Guide

The Work

Occasionally, the subtitle The Song of the Night has been appended to the Seventh Symphony, presumably relating to the two movements (the second and fourth) that Mahler entitled Nachtmusik. However, Mahler did not append a subtitle to the symphony. Regarding the symphony’s principal key, some have referred to it as B minor, the key in which the symphony begins. However, the first movement is clearly in E minor which relates more directly than B minor to both the keys of the second movement and the finale (C minor/major and C major respectively), although more remotely to those of the other movements.

Date(s) of composition: 1904-5; published by Bote & Bock, Berlin (1909)
Place(s) of composition: Maiernigg
Premiere:Prague, 19 September 1909, Mahler conducting
Orchestration: Piccolo, 4 flutes (4th doubling as 2d piccolo), 4 oboes, English horn, clarinet in E-flat, 3 clarinets in A and B-flat, 3 bassoons, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, tenor horn in B-flat (referred to in English as a >baritone=), 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion (bass drum, snare drum, tambourine, tam-tam, triangle, cymbals, rute (sticks), cowbells and glockenspiel), 2 harps, guitar, mandolin and strings.
Performers: Vienna Philharmonic under Leonard Bernstein
Movements: 5 movements with second and fourth movements each entitled Nachtmusik and third Scherzo.
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Symphony No. 7 In B Minor/E Minor – First Movement

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Listening Guide

The Work


Tempo: Langsam (Adagio); Allegro risoluto, ma non troppo
Key: Beginning in B minor and modulating progressively to E minor and concluding in E major.
Time Signature: 4/4
Form: Sonata form

Symphony No. 7 In B Minor/E Minor – Second Movement

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Listening Guide

The Work


Tempo: Allegro Moderato; Tempo subito, molto moderato (Andante); Sempre l’istesso tempo; Gehalten; Poco meno mosso
Key: C minor/major (first Trio in A-flat major; second Trio in F minor)
Time Signature: 4/4
Form: ABACABA (with Introduction and Coda)

Symphony No. 7 In B Minor/E Minor – Third Movement

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Listening Guide

The Work

Tempo: Schattenhaft. Fliessend, aber nicht schnell, an der Anfangstahten noch etwas zogernd. (Shadowy. Fleeting, but not too fast, the beginning still somewhat hesitant.); etwas flotter (somewhat brisker); klagend (lamenting); Pesante
Key: D minor with Trio in D major.
Time Signature: 3/4
Form: Scherzo and Trio (with Introduction, Coda and sonata-like development sections)

Symphony No. 7 In B Minor/E Minor – Fourth Movement

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Listening Guide

The Work

Tempo: Andante Amoroso; Mit Aufschwung (With verve); Graziosissimo; Sehr Fliessend (very fleeting),etc.
Key: F Major (with a middle section in A-flat major and B-flat Major with modulations)
Time Signature: 2/4
Form: ABACA-DE-ABACA

Symphony No. 7 In B Minor/E Minor – Fifth Movement

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Listening Guide

The Work

Tempo: Allegro ordinario ; Maestoso; Sempre l’istesso tempo; Gemessen! Nicht Schnell! (Measured! Not fast!); Grazioso; Immer noch Tempo II (still in Tempo II), etc.
Key: C major (opening briefly in E minor); second subject in A-flat major with occasional ventures into A, G-flat, B-flat and B major and a brief incursion into C minor.
Time Signature: 4/4; 3/2; 2/2; alla breve; returning to 4/4
Form: Modified sonata-rondo