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It's impossible to know how Mahler's music would have developed if he had lived longer,as tantalizing as this speculation is. Possibly he would have written an opera or operas. That would have been something!
You can hear the roots of the second Viennese school even in Bruckner's uncompleted 9th symphony. This is a work so radical for its day that one can scarcely believe that it was written by a composer born in 1824,when Beethoven and Schubert were still alive.
The grinding dissonances and extrme chroamticism (for the 1890s) are astonishing.
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