The MGM logo: a hand-drawn cartoon of Mahler at the podium, glaring at the audience

Main heading: The Music of Gustav Mahler: A Catalogue of Manuscript and Printed Sources [rule] Paul Banks





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  [String Quartet or Piano Quartet?]








Printed Editions






The primary reference to this work appears in AMGM, 80:

Die Freundschaft Mahlers mit Wolf reicht weit zurück in beider Jugend. In ihrer Armut mieten sie mit einem dritten, namens Krzyzanowsky, zusammen ein Zimmer und hausten dort ein paar Monate. Da alle drei Musiker waren, waren alle drei Lärmempfindlich. Wenn einer der drei nun eine Arbeit vorhatte, so mussten die anderen beiden die ganze Nacht spazieren gehen. So hat Mahler einmal für eine Konkurrenz einen Quartettsatz in einer Nacht komponirt, während die andern Gassenarrest hatten. Sie schliefen auf Rinstrassenbänken.

Mahler's friendship with Wolf went back to their youth. Because of poverty they rented and shared a room with a third, by the name of Krzyzanowski,  for a few months. Because all three were musicians, all were sensitive to noise. If one of the three was going to work, the other two had to go for a walk all night. Mahler once composed a quartet movement for a competition in one night while the others were arrested on the street. They had slept on Ringstrasse benches.

Alma Mahler does not specify the date, but Frank Walker (FWHW, 82–83.) and subsequent writers have proposed 1879. If this is correct, the work in question cannot be connected with any of the internal competitions at the Vienna Conservatory. Her narrative also offers no clue about the precise instrumentation of the 'quartet movement'.

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  AMGM, 80; FWHW, 82–83
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