Conducted by Claudio Abbado, the Lucerne Festival Orchestra performs Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 5. Recorded in 2004.
Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 5
The symphony was composed in 1901 and 1902, mostly during the summer months at Mahler’s cottage at Maiernigg, a municipality in the district of Klagenfurt-Land in the Austrian state of Carinthia. Among its most distinctive features is the trumpet solo that opens the work and the frequently performed Adagietto.
The musical canvas and emotional scope of the work, which lasts over an hour, are huge. The symphony is sometimes described as being in the key of C# minor since the first movement is in this key (the finale, however, is in D). Mahler objected to the label: “From the order of the movements (where the usual first movement now comes second) it is difficult to speak of a key for the ‘whole Symphony’, and to avoid misunderstandings the key should best be omitted.”
The work is in five movements:
- Trauermarsch (Funeral March). In gemessenem Schritt. Streng. Wie ein Kondukt (C-sharp minor)
- Stürmisch bewegt, mit größter Vehemenz (Moving stormily, with the greatest vehemence) (A minor)
- Scherzo. Kräftig, nicht zu schnell (Not too fast, strong) (D major)
- Adagietto. Sehr langsam (Very slow) (F major)
- Rondo-Finale. Allegro – Allegro giocoso. Frisch (Fresh) (D major)
- Symphony No. 5 (Mahler) on Wikipedia