The use of upright format for an orchestral draft is
unusual. but it is notable that Mahler adopted it for OD3 and the orchestral draft of the
original solo song version of Urlicht, which were also
completed in the summer of 1893. Perhaps that year Mahler was
without a supply of oblong paper at Steinbach.
Natalie Bauer-Lechner records Mahler's work on the
movement while at Steinbach am Attersee in July–August 1893 (NBL2,
NBLE, p. 29):
„Sind das zwei wunderschöne Themen, die
ich heute aus der Skizze zum Andante meiner Zweiten
Symphonie aufgegriffen habe, das ich ebenso wie das
Scherzo mit Gottes Hilfe hier zu vollenden hoffe"...
Mahler hatte sein Andante in sieben Tagen vollendet....
'Here are two marvellous themes' said Mahler 'that I picked up
today from the sketch for the Andante of my Second Symphony.
With God's help, I hope to finish both it and the Scherzo while
I'm here'....Mahler finished his Andante in seven days....
The orchestral draft of the Scherzo (OD3)
was completed on 16 July 1893 and that of the Andante (OD2)
on 30 July 1893. The numbering of this draft seems unequivocal.
Nevertheless, there is other evidence that at that time Mahler
had not definitively decided on the inclusion of the song in the
Symphony: the first orchestral score of the
AF; 19 July 1893) identifies the work as aus des Knaben
Wunderhorn / Nr. 7, and when, towards the end of his
1893 vacation, Mahler made an unsuccessful attempt to begin work
on the finale, he commented to Natalie Bauer-Lechner (NBL2,
276 (revised, with editorial underlining)):
Läst du mir die Tücke des Objects
statt des 4/4 Taktes, den ich zum vierten
Satz brauche, jetzt lauter 3/4 Takte einfallen, mit
denen ich nichts zu tun anfangen kann!
Things have a nasty will of their
own. Instead of ideas in 4/4, which I need for the
fourth movement, I now have only ideas in 3/4
time, with which I can do nothing!
Although there were to be some significant alterations later
(not least the addition of some twelve bars entirely absent in
this version) the manuscript indicates that generally the
drafting of this score was relatively straightforward.
Nevertheless it is clear that the contrasting material was less
in focus than the main section, with, for example, a first draft
of bb. 55–59 on fol. 3v being abandoned, and the
passage redrafted on fol. 4r; there are also
significant revisions when the material returns on fol. 6r.
One of the most intriguing revisions, though, concerns bb.
48–59: originally the familiar string passage accompanied a
complete statement of a melodic idea – played here by fl. 1 –
which in the final version appears only once in the movement, at
bb. 183–193. Mahler subsequently deleted the whole flute line in
pencil, with the comment bleibt weg, leaving what had
been an accompaniment as the sole musical material.
In general the orchestral conception seems to have been
fairly well established in Mahler's mind, though occasionally
extra staves have to be added the top or bottom of a system to
accommodate part not originally included in the layout: these
may reflect corrections of oversights, or evidence of
spontaneous creative decisions.
The clearly defined tempo structure of the published version
(with the faster tempo for the restatement of the 'B' section)
is not present here: there are just a very few local tempo
variations marked. Similarly the very characteristic
portamenti marked in
are not specified here (though in the present manuscript Mahler
may have been relying on his bowing to imply their use).