Poll

What's your preferred running order of the middle movements of Mahler's Sixth Symphony?

Scherzo then Andante
42 (64.6%)
Andante then Scherzo
8 (12.3%)
I like both orders
4 (6.2%)
I'm undecided
1 (1.5%)
I don't care
10 (15.4%)

Total Members Voted: 48

Author Topic: Mahler's Sixth Symphony - Scherzo then Andante ... or the reverse?  (Read 8524 times)

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Offline PSmith08

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Re: Mahler's Sixth Symphony - Scherzo then Andante ... or the reverse?
« Reply #20 on: November 13, 2007, 06:40:32 PM »
Both Jerry Bruck and Reinhold Kubik make, to my mind, overwhelmingly persuasive arguments for A-S. I, for one, am left with little doubt that Gustav Mahler intended the order to be A-S. Ratz based too much of his argument for S-A on Alma Mahler's recollections, flying in the face of considerable evidence - much of it in Mahler's hand - in favor of A-S. Kubik almost begins with this little bit, "Ratz,who became the first editor of the Critical Edition of Mahler and who wrote the standard textbook on the theory of musical form that is still in use today,was at the heart of his scholarly being an analyst, not a historian or a philologist. He was,however,completely convinced that he could make compelling—and accurate—determinations about content through formal analysis and vice versa. Should new facts alter the picture of a work, Ratz was not infrequently inclined to rearrange the facts slightly to maintain his analyses,as can often be seen if one compares Ratz’s editorial decisions with the sources." (Kaplan ed. 2004, 37) That, to my way of thinking, shows that you had someone making a crucially important decision with a pretty aggressive preexisting editorial vision. Indeed, I doubt that any person of that mindset would make a decent editor, regardless of the subject matter, of a critical edition. The anecdote Kubik relates about the third hammer-blow (Ibid., 37f.) shows how willing Ratz was to accept or ignore evidence to further his arguments-from-form about issues.

The meat of the issue, and - once again, in my mind - where the Ratz decision falls is this, "Here Ratz departed once and for all from any basis in fact. First, he asserted that Mahler had changed the order “apparently under the influence of others.” This is totally unimaginable and would have been utterly unique anywhere in all of Mahler’s lifelong revision process. As far as we know, Mahler never made decisions as a composer on the basis of such influences,as Bruckner,for example,had done several times. The second assertion Ratz pulled out of the air was that Mahler “later realized that the original order was the only right one and the only one that corresponds to the internal structure of the work.” There is—as Jerry Bruck shows in his essay—no documentation of any kind to indicate a second change of mind by Mahler. For these reasons,the reference to the “temporarily adopted order” is not factual. Rather, from 1906 to 1919, the “changed order”of the second version was used exclusively and unopposed. The sole support for the restoration Ratz undertook is Alma’s telegram of October 1, 1919. And Alma Mahler never answered the question as to the origin of her categorical ex-cathedra decision." (Ibid., 41)

So, then, you have an editor making critical (in both senses) decisions based on his ideas of musical form, supporting it with the often-suspect (and in the case of the "Amsterdam" telegram, factually inaccurate) recollections of the composer's widow. Jerry Bruck, on the other hand, summarizes the evidence cutting in the other direction, with this fun fact being the most likely most persuasive fact, "All of Mahler’s own performances of his Sixth Symphony, without exception, had its Andante precede the Scherzo." (Ibid., 15) Listeners, then, are faced with a choice: Erwin Ratz' form-based argument, supported by nothing except Alma Mahler's recollections, or Gustav Mahler's own decisions - both in his copy of the score and in his orders to his publisher - augmented by Mahler's own performing tradition. If Mahler had intended to alter the internal movements, then it stands to reason that he would have done so in his own performances. Mahler had made the S-A to A-S correction and had the whole score republished in November 1906, at roughly the same time that the Essen premiere took place. He was convinced enough with the A-S ordering to premiere it; indeed, the S-A resurrection does not take place for another 13 years (1 October 1919, for the Amsterdam premiere by Mengelberg, despite the fact that Mahler left A-S untouched in Mengelberg's score). That is not, to my mind, part of the legitimate textual tradition - especially when the author is conducting the contradictory (A-S) version.

Now, it might sound more "right," but we have to pay more than lip service to Mahler's intent. The calm before the storm is still there in Mahler's original version (though I think that to assert any such overarching theme is to introduce a symphonic program in purely 19th Century terms, which doesn't gel as nicely with Mahler's later works as it does with the earlier ones), the storm is just longer. The "Tragic" moniker may remain, but the symphony becomes one of unremitting tragedy rather than a brief respite and then the hammer-blows coming with a shock unparalleled. I think that it is clear that Mahler changed his mind, once. After he reordered the internal movements (S-A -> A-S), he stuck with that, despite the fact that he was making other corrections. It doesn't hold water that Mahler was uncertain, especially since he had ample opportunity over five years to correct the situation. Ratz made the logical and programmatic decision about how the movements should be ordered and relied on Alma Mahler to support that. It does not make the case, though, that Gustav Mahler intended anything of the sort.

Addendum: I do realize that accepting Bruck/Kubik pretty well dashes a lot of modern performance and recording history, but - at the same time - it is likely that Mahler's second edition (A-S) reflects Mahler's own wishes, and I'll trust Gustav Mahler on the subject before I'll trust Erwin Ratz and Alma Mahler. The latter falls neatly into what Pierre Boulez would call the unlustigen Witwen (No doubt an opinion acquired from a close relationship with Frau Berg), women who appointed themselves supreme guardians of their husbands' memory and the sole oracles of what their husbands would have wanted. Frau Mahler's relationship with Herr Mahler was such, to my mind, that one might not rush to Alma to solve these problems. Indeed, her own agenda makes her a particularly unreliable source.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2007, 06:51:30 PM by PSmith08 »

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Mahler's Sixth Symphony - Scherzo then Andante ... or the reverse?
« Reply #21 on: November 14, 2007, 07:53:10 AM »
Addendum: I do realize that accepting Bruck/Kubik pretty well dashes a lot of modern performance and recording history, but - at the same time - it is likely that Mahler's second edition (A-S) reflects Mahler's own wishes...

At the time it was printed, sure. But years later? If Mahler's decision was indeed final, why would Mengelberg even bother to ask Alma about it? Why wouldn't the black and white evidence in front of him (the score) suffice? The only reason I can think of is because Mahler had expressed doubts about the revised order the last time he spoke to Mengelberg about the symphony. And Mengelberg had doubts too, obviously.

and I'll trust Gustav Mahler on the subject before I'll trust Erwin Ratz and Alma Mahler. The latter falls neatly into what Pierre Boulez would call the unlustigen Witwen (No doubt an opinion acquired from a close relationship with Frau Berg), women who appointed themselves supreme guardians of their husbands' memory and the sole oracles of what their husbands would have wanted. Frau Mahler's relationship with Herr Mahler was such, to my mind, that one might not rush to Alma to solve these problems. Indeed, her own agenda makes her a particularly unreliable source.

While she certainly had her own agenda, I see nothing in it for her in choosing one order of movements over the other. She was his wife. She knew his music--she must have known his wishes. I trust her on this issue. Mengelberg did. And Boulez, despite his misogynous comment, clearly does too since he performs the symphony Scherzo2/Andante 3.

You're pretty hard on Erwin Ratz. Here's part of La Grange's defense of Ratz:

"In an article published in 1992 the Austrian composer Karl Heinz Füssl, editor of several Mahler symphonies for the Critical Edition, has convincingly analysed and enumerated the 'hermeneutic and musical' reasons why the order of movements in the Ratz edition should not today be altered. In Füssl's view:

1. The Scherzo belongs after--and with--the opening Allergro because it varies and carries forward some its thematic material and could be considered an example of 'developing variation', the device defined and used by Schönberg. The order with Andante 2 would destroy the thematic and harmonic unity of the work.

2. The Scherzo uses the same keys as the first movement, A minor in the beginning and F major in the trio.

3. The key of the Andante, E flat, is the furthest removed from that of the end of the Allergro, A major, whereas the C minor beginning of the introduction to the Finale serves as transition from E flat to A minor which is the main key of the last movement.

4. A slow movement precedes the Finale in five other Mahler symphonies: 1, 2, 4, 5, and 7.

In conclusion, Füssl expresses admiration for Erwin Ratz who, at a time when the history of the various autographs and versions was still incompletely known, intuitively guessed the rightful and original order. An overwhelming majority of conductors in our time have adopted Ratz's order of movements. To my mind Mahler changed it in Essen because he was quite simply frightened by the audacity of his own original conception."



Sarge
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

Offline PSmith08

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Re: Mahler's Sixth Symphony - Scherzo then Andante ... or the reverse?
« Reply #22 on: November 14, 2007, 08:41:29 AM »
Quote
At the time it was printed, sure. But years later? If Mahler's decision was indeed final, why would Mengelberg even bother to ask Alma about it? Why wouldn't the black and white evidence in front of him (the score) suffice? The only reason I can think of is because Mahler had expressed doubts about the revised order the last time he spoke to Mengelberg about the symphony. And Mengelberg had doubts too, obviously.

I don't honestly know why Mengelberg asked Frau Mahler for advice. Mengelberg's own experience, with Mahler taking the score back to make some corrections but leaving A-S untouched, would indicate that Mahler was fine with the 'new' order. Mahler pushed his own publisher to make some expensive corrections, i.e., reprinting the score and inserting errata/corrigenda slips in back stock, and - despite the fact that he had four or five years to change his mind again - he left it the way it was. His own Essen score, which I would consider the court of first instance on making any sort of decisions about his intent, reflects A-S. While Mahler changed some other stuff, like the third hammer-blow, he did not touch A-S. There was, as pointed out in the Bruck essay, plenty of opportunity for Mahler to make the changes, especially in 1910 when he signed with Universal Edition.

Quote
While she certainly had her own agenda, I see nothing in it for her in choosing one order of movements over the other. She was his wife. She knew his music--she must have known his wishes. I trust her on this issue. Mengelberg did. And Boulez, despite his misogynous comment, clearly does too since he performs the symphony Scherzo2/Andante 3.

When her support is factually inaccurate at worst and unsupported at best, I would say that there is plenty of cause to dismiss the Alma evidence out of hand. The necessary comeback to my charge of factual inaccuracy is that it was many years after the fact that she asserted Mahler played the 6th in Amsterdam. Indeed it was. She was talking about things nearly fifteen years in the past when she wrote Mengelberg, and if she couldn't or wouldn't remember that Mahler left it as it was when he signed with UE, then how could we expect her to be a reliable source on the matter, especially when she is the only source for this change. There does not currently exist a single other textual witness for S-A, as even the Mahler tradition says A-S. 

Quote
You're pretty hard on Erwin Ratz. Here's part of La Grange's defense of Ratz:

"In an article published in 1992 the Austrian composer Karl Heinz Füssl, editor of several Mahler symphonies for the Critical Edition, has convincingly analysed and enumerated the 'hermeneutic and musical' reasons why the order of movements in the Ratz edition should not today be altered. In Füssl's view:

1. The Scherzo belongs after--and with--the opening Allergro because it varies and carries forward some its thematic material and could be considered an example of 'developing variation', the device defined and used by Schönberg. The order with Andante 2 would destroy the thematic and harmonic unity of the work.

2. The Scherzo uses the same keys as the first movement, A minor in the beginning and F major in the trio.

3. The key of the Andante, E flat, is the furthest removed from that of the end of the Allergro, A major, whereas the C minor beginning of the introduction to the Finale serves as transition from E flat to A minor which is the main key of the last movement.

4. A slow movement precedes the Finale in five other Mahler symphonies: 1, 2, 4, 5, and 7.

In conclusion, Füssl expresses admiration for Erwin Ratz who, at a time when the history of the various autographs and versions was still incompletely known, intuitively guessed the rightful and original order. An overwhelming majority of conductors in our time have adopted Ratz's order of movements. To my mind Mahler changed it in Essen because he was quite simply frightened by the audacity of his own original conception."

I don't disagree with the argument-from-form in a purely artistic sense. The 6th works very well S-A. At the same time, you can't rewrite a composer's score because his final - and I have yet to see any real evidence from Gustav Mahler, indeed, there is plenty of evidence cutting the other way, that A-S was not his final decision -  wishes don't make as much formal sense as you would like. In constructing a critical edition that would reflect the composer's final wishes, form is a consideration, but it is never the overriding principle. If the 6th is diminished because Mahler didn't construct it to a form that would be agreeable, then those are the breaks. Of course, the 6th becomes, in my mind, though I wouldn't use this to support A-S, thematically more interesting with the contrasting first two and the roughly (though this is a bit of an oversimplification) monotonous last two movements.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2007, 08:43:13 AM by PSmith08 »

Offline MichaelRabin

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Re: Mahler's Sixth Symphony - Scherzo then Andante ... or the reverse?
« Reply #23 on: November 14, 2007, 01:56:39 PM »

"In an article published in 1992 the Austrian composer Karl Heinz Füssl, editor of several Mahler symphonies for the Critical Edition, has convincingly analysed and enumerated the 'hermeneutic and musical' reasons why the order of movements in the Ratz edition should not today be altered. In Füssl's view:

1. The Scherzo belongs after--and with--the opening Allegro because it varies and carries forward some its thematic material and could be considered an example of 'developing variation', the device defined and used by Schöenberg. The order with Andante 2 would destroy the thematic and harmonic unity of the work.

2. The Scherzo uses the same keys as the first movement, A minor in the beginning and F major in the trio.

3. The key of the Andante, E flat, is the furthest removed from that of the end of the Allegro, A major, whereas the C minor beginning of the introduction to the Finale serves as transition from E flat to A minor which is the main key of the last movement.

4. A slow movement precedes the Finale in 5 other Mahler symphonies: 1, 2, 4, 5, and 7.

In conclusion, Füssl expresses admiration for Erwin Ratz who, at a time when the history of the various autographs and versions was still incompletely known, intuitively guessed the rightful and original order. An overwhelming majority of conductors in our time have adopted Ratz's order of movements. To my mind Mahler changed it in Essen because he was quite simply frightened by the audacity of his own original conception."


Sarge

These are exactly my thoughts as well - it is more convincing than the A/S sequence.

What are forum posters' thoughts on the 2 or 3 hammer blows please?

Offline not edward

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Re: Mahler's Sixth Symphony - Scherzo then Andante ... or the reverse?
« Reply #24 on: November 14, 2007, 02:56:20 PM »
What are forum posters' thoughts on the 2 or 3 hammer blows please?
Two. It's more psychologically astute for the blow that fells the hero to be the weakest of the three.
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Offline Raymond

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Re: Mahler's Sixth Symphony - Scherzo then Andante ... or the reverse?
« Reply #25 on: May 31, 2011, 07:28:55 AM »
The debate goes on and conductors are still split into two camps, whatever the history of this fascinating subject. I've always been a Scherzo/Andante person because that's how I am used to hearing it most times. Musically it works better and feels better as S/A. We'll never know why Mahler changed it - but the reasons were probably not musicalogical ones. And he might well have commented on it or changed it again had he lived longer.
Just let the conductor decide.

klingsor

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Re: Mahler's Sixth Symphony - Scherzo then Andante ... or the reverse?
« Reply #26 on: May 31, 2011, 11:33:13 AM »
I am used to hearing Scherzo-Andante as well. And it really sound alright to me. But I prefer Andante-Scherzo, even without knowing it was Mahler's final wish.

Hearing the Andante after the Allegro makes a very dramatic contrast and it allows the Scherzo more 'space' in the symphony (so it doesn't almost sound like an extension of the Allegro. The third movement is then followed by a slow intro to the Finale. I think it works very nicely this way. Sorry if I reiterated anybody else's thoughts in this thread, I'm too lazy to read all of it

Offline Raymond

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Re: Mahler's Sixth Symphony - Scherzo then Andante ... or the reverse?
« Reply #27 on: June 01, 2011, 12:26:45 AM »
I added to this debate having just seen a review of a new recording of the Sixth (Saraste) by Edward Seckerson in the UK Gramophone magazine - July issue. He states "Credit to Saraste for getting the ordern right (Scherzo second). We now know that Mahler did revert to the original order where his shocking parody of the opening march actually makes sense". The important phrase is "we now know", so has anything new come to light?  But how new is "now". Can't find anything new on any Mahler society website - UK or International GM Society. And if it's not new where does ES get his confirmation from?

klingsor

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Re: Mahler's Sixth Symphony - Scherzo then Andante ... or the reverse?
« Reply #28 on: June 01, 2011, 01:20:32 AM »
From Wikipedia:

Quote
There is some controversy over the order of the two middle movements, though recent research has clarified the issue considerably. Mahler is known to have conceived the work as having the scherzo second and the slow movement third, a somewhat unclassical arrangement adumbrated in such earlier gargantuan symphonies as Beethoven's Ninth and Bruckner's Eighth and (unfinished) Ninth, as well as in Mahler's own four-movement First and Fourth. It was in this arrangement that the symphony was completed (in 1904) and published (in March 1906); and it was with a conducting score in which the scherzo preceded the slow movement that Mahler began rehearsals for the work's first performance, in May 1906. During those rehearsals, however, Mahler decided that the slow movement should precede the scherzo, and he instructed his publishers C.F. Kahnt to prepare a "second edition" of the work with the movements in that order, and meanwhile to insert errata slips indicating the change of order into all unsold copies of the existing edition. The seriousness of such a decision is not to be underestimated: as Jeffrey Gantz has pointed out, "A composer who premières his symphony Andante/Scherzo immediately after publishing it Scherzo/Andante can expect a degree of public ridicule, and [the reviewer of the first Vienna performance] didn't spare the sarcasm". Moreover, this revised, "second thoughts" ordering was observed by Mahler in every single performance he gave; it is also how the symphony was performed by others during his lifetime.

The first occasion on which the abandoned, original movement order was reverted to seems to have been in 1919, after Alma had sent a telegram to Willem Mengelberg which said "First Scherzo, then Andante". Mengelberg, who had been in close touch with Mahler until the latter's death, and had happily conducted the symphony in the "Andante/Scherzo" arrangement right up to 1916, then switched to the "Scherzo/Andante" order. In this he seems to have been alone: other conductors, such as Oskar Fried and Dimitri Mitropoulos, continued to perform (and eventually record) the work as 'Andante/Scherzo', per Mahler's own second edition, right up to the early 1960s.

In 1963, however, Erwin Ratz's "Critical Edition" of the Sixth appeared, and in this the Scherzo preceded the Andante. Ratz, however, never offered any support (he did not even cite Alma's telegram) for his assertion that Mahler "changed his mind a second time" at some point before his death; but his editorial decision was questioned by few musicians—and even those who did not accept his "third thoughts" ordering (such as Barbirolli in his acclaimed 1967 recording) could find that their 'Andante/Scherzo' performance would be changed by the record company to "Scherzo/Andante" so as to make their recording agree with the "Critical Edition". The utter lack of documentary or other evidence in support of Ratz's (and Alma's) reverted ordering has caused the most recent Critical Edition to restore the Andante/Scherzo order; however, many conductors continue to perform the Scherzo before the Andante. The matter remains hotly debated, however.

Offline not edward

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Re: Mahler's Sixth Symphony - Scherzo then Andante ... or the reverse?
« Reply #29 on: June 01, 2011, 04:51:16 AM »
Saying that one or other is 100% correct is futile to me. It's quite clear this is one of those arguments that'll never be fully resolved, since no matter how conclusive the evidence might seem for Andante-Scherzo, there's no way to disprove the contention that Mahler doubted this.

My own view is that Andante-Scherzo seems in many regards more structurally effective, but Scherzo-Andante is more psychologically effective for me as a listener, for two reasons: firstly the obvious one about the andante being in a distant key and providing a drop in tension before the half-hour finale wrenches the listener back to the dominant mood of the work; secondly because the scherzo functions very effectively as a partial negation or at least a darkened variant of the opening movement.
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eyeresist

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Re: Mahler's Sixth Symphony - Scherzo then Andante ... or the reverse?
« Reply #30 on: June 01, 2011, 06:26:11 PM »
We'll never know why Mahler changed it - but the reasons were probably not musicalogical ones.

I really doubt that's true.

For myself, like Klingsor I thought S/A sounded wrong before I even knew of the controversy. Also note that the arguments for scherzo first are nearly identical to some of the arguments against it! (i.e. it's in the same key and sounds like a direct continuation of the material)  I will admit that I find neither solution completely satisfactory; it's a problem inherent to the symphony's construction.

Fussl's remark that the finale begins in C min is incorrect - the first note is C, but it is part of a A flat chord (dim maj?). A flat is quite remote from the E flat of the andante. OTOH, it is one semitone down from A min (first mvt & scherzo, though arguably they both end in A maj), and shares the same third (the C) thus smoothly transitioning from minor to major. I don't know how Fussl, a composer, could advocate such an error in good conscience.

Edward Seckerson seems to be continuing Erwin Ratz's policy of lying for what he believes to be a good cause.
 


Edit: Corrected, as I somehow confused Ab and G# to make Gb!
« Last Edit: June 01, 2011, 11:01:02 PM by eyeresist »

Offline Raymond

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Re: Mahler's Sixth Symphony - Scherzo then Andante ... or the reverse?
« Reply #31 on: June 01, 2011, 10:14:21 PM »
A friend asked reviewer Edward Seckerson about the matter, and he replied that, no it wasn't really that new and that he got the information from de la Grange who claims Mahler returned to S/A

Anyway, a few further thoughts:
Facts: Mahler wrote the work as S/A; he subsequently changed his mind; it's not known why ( was it entirely his own decision or was he pursuaded by somebody?); we can never know whether, had he lived longer he might have changed back when reflecting upon his works.

Possible speculative reasons he changed the order. There could be others and none, one or more of these could have validity:
1. He wanted to give orchestral players a respite after the first movement...
2. He was in deference to the more traditional order of the symphony with the quick movement third...
3. He was thinking of the listeners - would it be just to much for them to follow that first movement with the almost equally hard-hitting Scherzo?...
4. He wanted to encourage the performance and acceptance of the work in the wider world...
5. We know Mahler was superstitious about writing a ninth symphony. He could also have been superstitious over the Sixth. It is generally commented that the Sixth was prophetic of three tragedies which were to befall him. Given the increasing knowledge now of the quantum world where space and time are not what they seem to be, he could have been subsconsciously aware of those tragedies - but not there actual manifestations - and so decided to try to mitigate them by reducing the three hammer blows to two and reversing the middle movements in a rather futile attempt to make it a bit less 'tragic' overall...

Ethically, conductors should choose A/S unless or until some new information appears. However, it might be that to respect  Mahler's inner life and the probable fact that, in his heart, his first thoughts were the wise ones, (and, as I see, from the point of view of key relationships also),then they might be equally wise to choose S/A. There is therefore one solution - play it (and hear it) both ways according to your feelings at any one time.

eyeresist

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Re: Mahler's Sixth Symphony - Scherzo then Andante ... or the reverse?
« Reply #32 on: June 01, 2011, 10:45:19 PM »

I am disappointed that you have not addressed my comments on the issue of key relationships.

A friend asked reviewer Edward Seckerson about the matter, and he replied that, no it wasn't really that new and that he got the information from de la Grange who claims Mahler returned to S/A

Hmmm. De la Grange's Vienna: Triumph and Disillusion, 1904-1907 was published in 2000, while Jerry Bruck's paper The Correct Movement Order in Mahler's Sixth Symphony was published in 2004. So De la Grange is certainly not "new" in that respect.

Mahlerfest's notes on the 6th query some of his assertions:

Quote
Henry-Louis de La Grange states that this subtitle ["Tragische"] first turned up on the program for the performance that Mahler conducted, on November 8, 1906, in Munich, but there is no sign of it on the reproduction of that program that Bruck provides.

Henry-Louis de La Grange concludes that Mahler and Mengelberg "probably" discussed the matter [of inner movement order] in October of 1909, when Mengelberg conducted Mahler's Seventh. In "Undoing a 'Tragic' Mistake," however, Jerry Bruck points out that in a letter postmarked July 6, 1909, Mahler "asked Mengelberg to send him his score of the Sixth, presumably so that Mahler could enter some further changes. Mengelberg's conducting score shows Mahler's last known changes to the Sixth, neatly entered in red ink." These changes do not include reverting to the Scherzo/Andante order of movements.

http://www.mahlerfest.org/mfXVI/notes_myth_reality.htm

BTW, according to this article, the original manuscript score shows five hammer blows!

Does anyone have a source for Mahler's much touted superstition about writing a 9th symphony? I can't find anything online.
 
« Last Edit: June 01, 2011, 11:13:21 PM by eyeresist »

Offline Raymond

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Re: Mahler's Sixth Symphony - Scherzo then Andante ... or the reverse?
« Reply #33 on: June 01, 2011, 11:09:03 PM »
Apologies - for not addressing your comments on the key relationships but I will have to study the score on this again. I'm not
denying your own comments on...
It's generally known of course from the literature, biographies etc, that Mahler was superstitious about Ninth symphonies being a composer's final one and so on. Whether there is any superstition about the Sixth is another matter and I only aired this point as a possibility. But if there was then it could be one reason for his changes.

Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Mahler's Sixth Symphony - Scherzo then Andante ... or the reverse?
« Reply #34 on: June 01, 2011, 11:14:15 PM »
Does anyone have a source for Mahler's much touted superstition about writing a 9th symphony? I can't find anything online.
How about Wikipedia and the curse of the ninth (a whole entry on just that!): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curse_of_the_ninth

EDIT: And another - more detailed and interesting stories: http://www.mahlerfest.org/mfXVIII/notes_musings.htm
« Last Edit: June 01, 2011, 11:21:14 PM by mc ukrneal »
Be kind to your fellow posters!!

eyeresist

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Re: Mahler's Sixth Symphony - Scherzo then Andante ... or the reverse?
« Reply #35 on: June 01, 2011, 11:30:03 PM »
Apologies - for not addressing your comments on the key relationships but I will have to study the score on this again. I'm not
denying your own comments on...
It's generally known of course from the literature, biographies etc, that Mahler was superstitious about Ninth symphonies being a composer's final one and so on. Whether there is any superstition about the Sixth is another matter and I only aired this point as a possibility. But if there was then it could be one reason for his changes.

You don't necessarily need the score, if you have a recording and a musical instrument on hand :)

I don't know about "It is generally known of course"...  I distrust conventional wisdom. I did find a couple of quotes from Alma on the subject, but she is notoriously unreliable (see 'The Alma Problem'). What I want is either something Mahler wrote himself, or the report of someone other than Alma.
 

Offline springrite

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Re: Mahler's Sixth Symphony - Scherzo then Andante ... or the reverse?
« Reply #36 on: June 01, 2011, 11:57:21 PM »
Play the symphony (symphonies) in question using "random play". After a few times, one of the orders might make more sense to you.

Well, that is what Kimi did with #3. Amazing how it works with the children's chorus starting the symphony!
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eyeresist

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Re: Mahler's Sixth Symphony - Scherzo then Andante ... or the reverse?
« Reply #37 on: June 02, 2011, 04:35:49 PM »
And another - more detailed and interesting stories: http://www.mahlerfest.org/mfXVIII/notes_musings.htm

Something weird going on here. My post appeared directly after Raymond's, and then yours appeared between us later on!
 

Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Mahler's Sixth Symphony - Scherzo then Andante ... or the reverse?
« Reply #38 on: June 03, 2011, 02:34:55 AM »
Something weird going on here. My post appeared directly after Raymond's, and then yours appeared between us later on!
How rude I was to chisel in!  :D  That is odd though. I have no idea why that might have happened.
Be kind to your fellow posters!!

Offline lisa needs braces

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Re: Mahler's Sixth Symphony - Scherzo then Andante ... or the reverse?
« Reply #39 on: June 04, 2011, 03:03:17 AM »
It probably doesn't matter. It'll sound bland either way.