Inside Mahleras Second Symphony: A Listeneras Guide

ISBN : 9780197575642

Lawrence F. Bernstein
328 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Mar 2022
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This guide introduces concertgoers, serious listeners, and music students to Gustav Mahler's Second Symphony, one of the composer's most popular and most powerful works. It examines the symphony from several perspectives: Mahler's struggle to create what he called the New Symphony; his innovative approaches to traditional musical form; how he addressed the daunting challenges of writing music on a monumental scale; and how he dealt with the ineluctable force of Beethoven's symphonic precedent, especially that of the Ninth Symphony. The central focus of Inside Mahler's Second Symphony is on the music itself: how it works, how it works its magic on the listener, how it translates the earnest existential concerns that motivate the symphony into powerful and highly expressive music. Beyond this, the book ushers the Listener's Guide into the digital age with 185 dedicated audio examples. They are brief, accessible, and arranged to flow from one to another to simulate how the symphony might be presented in a classroom discussion. Each movement is also presented uninterrupted, accompanied by light annotations to remind the reader of what they learned about the movement. Each musical event in the uninterrupted presentation is keyed to its location in the orchestral score to accommodate readers who may wish to refer to one. An innovative combination of in-depth analysis and multimedia exploration, Inside Mahler's Second Symphony is a remarkable introduction to a masterpiece of the symphonic repertoire.


List of Figures and Tables
List of Music Examples
List of Audio Examples
The Recording
How to Use this Book
Part One: Preliminaries
Chapter 1 Setting the Stage for the Second Symphony
Part Two: The Five Movements
Chapter 2 First Movement: The Opening and a Two-part Exposition
Chapter 3 First Movement: Development and Recapitulation
Chapter 4 The Second Movement
Chapter 5 A Song Serves as a Study for the Third Movement
Chapter 6 The Third Movement: Scherzo and Trio
Chapter 7 The Fourth Movement: Urlicht
Chapter 8 How to Complete the Symphony
Chapter 9 The Last Movement, Part 1: References to Judgment and the Airing of Themes
Chapter 10 The Last Movement, Part 2: Judgment in Action, Musical Development, and Some Continuing Enigmas
Chapter 11 The Last Movement, Part 3: Collapse, Climactic Resolution, a Stunning Reversal, and Celebration
Appendix 1 The Formal Template for the First Movement: Sonata Form
Appendix 2 Second-Movement Forms
Appendix 3 The Origins, Character, and Form of the Scherzo
Appendix 4 Complete Performances of Each Movement

About the author: 

Lawrence F. Bernstein is the Karen and Gary Rose Emeritus Term Professor of Music at the University of Pennsylvania, where he received several awards for distinguished teaching. He also taught at Columbia University, New York University, Princeton University, and Rutgers University, and at the University of Chicago. His specialty is Renaissance music, in which field he concentrated on the French chanson and on the music of Jean d'Ockeghem. He served as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the American Musicological Society and as Founding Editor of AMS Studies in Music. Bernstein was a fellow of the Guggenheim Foundation and of the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 2009, he was elected an honorary member of the American Musicological Society.

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