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Main heading: The Music of Gustav Mahler: A Catalogue of Manuscript and Printed Sources [rule] Paul Banks

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Title

 

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A minor Symphony

 

Title

 

A-moll Symphonie

Date

  1880–?

Scoring

  Unknown

Duration

 

Unknown

Manuscripts

 

Lost

 

Printed Editions

 

None

 

Notes

 

Mahler himself specifically mentioned the existence of this work to Natalie Bauer-Lechner on 21 June 1896 (NBL2, 55; NBLE, 57–8 (revised here)):

Ein Klavierquintett und zwei Symphonien sowie ein Vorspiel zun den „Argonauten‟, das er früher gemacht, und eine preisgekrönte Violinsonate hat er nie ganz zu Papier gebracht. „Das war mir damals zu umständlich und mein Geist hatte sich noch zu wenig beruhigt und gesetzt. Ich schritt von Entwurf zu Entwurf und führte das meiste nur im Kopf aus; da wußte ich aber jede Note, daß ich es allezeit vorspielen konnte – bis ich es eines schönen Tages vergessen hatte.‟....

A piano quintet, two symphonies, a prelude to Die Argonauten, composed earlier, and a prize-winning violin sonata were never fully written out. 'In those days I couldn't be bothered with all that – my mind was too restless and unstable. I skipped from one draft to another, and finished most of them merely in my head. But I knew every note of them, and could play them whenever they were wanted – until, one day, I found I had forgotten them all.

Drei Sätze existieren von einer A-moll Symphonie, die vierte war ganz fertig, doch eben nur in meinem Kopf, das heißt auf dem Klavier, an dem ich damals noch alles komponierte (was man nicht tun soll und ich späterhin auch nicht tat).

'Three movements of an A minor symphony still exist; the fourth was finished, but only in my head, that is, on the piano. In those days, I still composed at the piano; one should not do this, and later I gave it up.'

Another, and presumably independent, associate of the composer, who knew that there had been more than one early Symphony was Alfredo Casella, who refers to four such compositions the scores of which Mahler destroyed: 'l'auteur a déchiré les partitions de quatre symphonies juvéniles' (ACGM, 239).

 

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  NBL2, 55; NBLE, 57–8
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© 2007-14 Paul Banks  |  This page was lasted edited on 29 January 2018