Originally posted by Pianoman1
Of course the 2nd symphony contains so many brass fanfares. The off stage trumpets in the 5th mvmt. (to be payed as far away as possible), the extended horn fanfare of "The Great Summons", the "Epiphany" with, again off stage trumpets before the hushed enttry of the chorus in the remote key of Gb major, with that delicious Bb below the bass clef for the ba ...[text shortened]... hammer blows of A minor, the Tragische is, in my view, music at its most powerful.
I don't know how I could overlook the fanfares in the 2nd. You are right.
Mahler's score notes were usually very precise and maticulous. I think being a top conductor gave him an extra insight. That 2nd symphony is held together quite well. I use to find the second movement kind of a black sheep.
You might say that the 6th Symphony is opposite in theme to the 2nd. Whereas the 2nd is the ultimate triumph of life the 6th is that final triumph of death.
What amazes me about the final is the heroic struggles upward that are really sinking lower. I mean you get a taste of a final push to victory only to sink by stages into a circus like march to the grave.
Such rustic beauty and nostalgic longing yet always in the shadow of a relentless funeral march beat. What a conception. What a combination. For Mahler to be devoted to such an idea over the course of the composition shows his skill. The creative mind is busing with activity daily. To stay committed to a conception takes discipline.
I would like you if you would to comment on similarities or differences you find in Mahler's 6th to Tchaikovsky's 6th. That would be interesting. I have some thoughts comparing the movements of the two.
The Hammer blows are quite memorable Pianoman1. What stricks me perhaps more is the ghostly like beauty fountain flourishes in the strings in the shadow of the funeral march beat and the shift from major to minor.
You know. Right here:
There is also such a variety of themes in the 4th movement.
Much of the rest of the last movement sounds like a circus. I don't know why it is remenicient to be of big tent circus music. But I think Sibelius may have noticed this too. Maybe that was behind Sibelius competitive remark that he (Sibelius) had found his own voice and that there was nothing of "the circus" in it.
Anyway, probably one of the most effective slow movements in relation to the rest of the piece is the 3rd (Andante?). As you mentioned distant key, it is an oasis in a far distant key. In the midst of such a sardonic and frankly dark work, in the third movement you are removed to this little oasis of utter tranquility. This is quite striking in contrast in the liturature, I think.
I'm sure you are quite familar
I'll stop here. Some others have posted something I want to read.