A Cartoon of Mahler



Symphony No. 2

Orchestral draft, movement 5 – [OD5]


Current location unknown







Work on the fair copies of movements 2–4 may have been begun rather earlier, after the completion of that of the first movement, on 29 April 1894.





  [29 June–25 July 1894]





Manuscript structure and collation






Select Bibliography

  NKGII.2, 27, 116



Little information about this untraced but crucial document has come to light, but it was presumably the score to which Mahler referred in a letter to Arnold Berliner, written on 10 July 1894 (GMB2a, 137; GMSL, 155 (revised below)):

Ich bin naturlich mitten im Arbeiten. Der 5 Satz ist grandios und schließt mit einem Chorgesang, dessen Dichtung von mir herrührt. –

I am of course hard at work. The fifth movement is grandiose, concluding with a chorus for which I have written the words.

Bleibt strengstens unter uns (die ganze Mitteilung). –

Strictly between ourselves (the whole report). -

Die Skizzierung ist bis in die kleinste Einzelheit vollendet and eben bin ich daran, die Partitur auszuführen. - Es ist ein kühnes Stück von mächtigstem Aufbau. Die Schlußsteigerung ist kolossal. Anfang August bin ich in Bayreuth....

The sketching is complete down to the last detail, and I am now completing the score. It is a bold piece, immense in structure. The final climax is colossal. At the beginning of August I will be in Bayreuth....

The reference to 'die Partitur' is somewhat ambiguous, but on 25 July Mahler wrote again to Berliner, to announce his departure the following day for Bayreuth, where he hoped to meet up with both Berliner and Hermann Behn. In a postscript he announced that (GMB2a, 138; GMSL, 157):

Der letzte Satz (Partitur) der zweiten Symphonie is fertig! Es ist das Bedeutendste, was ich bis jetzt gemacht habe.

The last movement (score) of the Second Symphony is finished! It is the most important thing I have yet done.

After meeting up with the Krzyzanowskis and his brother Otto on 5 August (HLG1, 305) Mahler returned to Steinbach for a couple of weeks where he may have begun work on the fair copies of the scores of the last four movements of the new Symphony.¹ He then travelled back to Hamburg – via Vienna where he spent a few days, 21–23 August (GMB2a, 139; GMSL, 157) – and on 29 August played the new Symphony to an enthusiastic J.B. Foerster (GMLJ, 395; GMLJE 285).

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© 2007 Paul Banks | This page was lasted edited on 06 November 2018