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View Poll Results: How many symphonies did Mahler write?

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Thread: How many symphonies did Mahler write?

  1. #16
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    Listened to a couple of recordings of Das Lied this weekend. If we don’t consider it a Symphony, should it be considered a song cycle, such as Kindertotenlieder or the Wayfarer Songs?

  2. #17
    Member Jacob Brooks's Avatar
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    He wrote 8 symphonies. Neither "Symphony 8" nor Das Lied von der Erde are true symphonies, but what you have been led to believe are symphonies rather than an oratorio/song cycle by the classical music establishment.

  3. #18
    Senior Member joen_cph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob Brooks View Post
    He wrote 8 symphonies. Neither "Symphony 8" nor Das Lied von der Erde are true symphonies, but what you have been led to believe are symphonies rather than an oratorio/song cycle by the classical music establishment.
    He repeatedly called it his 8th symphony himself, many times, and on the poster of the premiere it is called a symphony too. The symphonic form has been a field of experiments for centuries.

    http://www.haenchen.net/fileadmin/me...ler_band10.pdf
    http://www.la-belle-epoque.de/mahler/mahler8.jpg

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  5. #19
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Actually with Mahler the crossover from symphony to cantata in some of his works is pretty fluid. Best to call them what Mahler himself did. He wrote 9 symphonies with one unfinished

  6. #20
    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    Mahler, of course, called Das Liede a symphony.


  7. #21
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    The term "symphony," along with its adjectival form "symphonic," underwent so much evolution between the Baroque ("sinfonia") and the modern period that almost any work for orchestra, with or without vocal parts, can be called a symphony, and even operas of the through-composed variety have been called "symphonic." Still, as far as I'm concerned, Mahler's 8th is basically an oratorio, since most of it is sung, and Das Lied von der Erde is unambiguously a song cycle, for the most obvious of reasons. I use the same criterion here as I do in debating whether 4'33" is music: what term is most useful to the understanding? If you tell someone they're about to hear a symphony, do they expect a setting of poetry that's sung throughout? The mere fact that we're having the debate throws suspicion on the use of the term "symphony."

    Mahler definitely wrote 8 symphonies, and then two large-scale works to which it pleased him to attach the name.

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  9. #22
    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    The term "symphony," along with its adjectival form "symphonic," underwent so much evolution between the Baroque ("sinfonia") and the modern period that almost any work for orchestra, with or without vocal parts, can be called a symphony, and even operas of the through-composed variety have been called "symphonic." Still, as far as I'm concerned, Mahler's 8th is basically an oratorio, since most of it is sung, and Das Lied von der Erde is unambiguously a song cycle, for the most obvious of reasons. I use the same criterion here as I do in debating whether 4'33" is music: what term is most useful to the understanding? If you tell someone they're about to hear a symphony, do they expect a setting of poetry that's sung throughout? The mere fact that we're having the debate throws suspicion on the use of the term "symphony."

    Mahler definitely wrote 8 symphonies, and then two large-scale works to which it pleased him to attach the name.
    I like it and now I can delete Mahler 8 from my player and focus on 1-7 and 9. You know, it was much easier, for some reason, for me to toss Mendelssohn's 2nd out of his symphonic cycle and it has a similar situation as Mahler's 8th.
    "All of Italian opera can be heard in [Bellini's] "Ah! non creda [mirarti]."
    --Renata Scotto in "Scotto, More Than a DIva."

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