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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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1

Wahl died on 23 March 1911 at the age of 52 (see Neues Wiener Tagblatt, 25 March 1911, 15). He was also a member of the k.k. Hof-Musik-Kapelle, and  seems to have owned some fine violins including a 1675 Amati and one by Lorenzo Storioni (1771) that passed to his pupil, Grossherzogin Alexandra von Mecklenburg-Schwerin. (See FNC, pp. 65, 103, 122)

 

2

This passage quotes from an otherwise unpublished portion of Bauer-Lechner's collection of Mahleriana.

 

 

 

 

   

 

Scherzo for Piano Quintet

 

Title

 

Clavier-Quintett (Scherzo)

Date

  1878

Scoring

  Piano, violin 1, violin 2, viola, cello

Duration

 

Unknown

Manuscripts

 

Lost

 

Printed Editions

 

None

 

Notes

 

This is an early composition for which there is some documentary evidence. On 2 July 1878 at the annual Conservatoire competition it won first prize (not awarded unanimously) for composition and was performed at the concert of Schluß-Produktionen on 11 July 1878:

Black and white facsimile of the programme of the first concert of graduation performances, given on 11 July 1878

Fig. 1, Programme for the first concert of Schluß-Produktion, 11 July 1878

BCGdM, 1878, p. 59

 

The event was reviewed in the Signale für die musikalische Welt (36/50 (Oktober 1878), 2-3):

Eigene Compositionen lieferten: Herr Rudolf Krzyzanowsky (Adagio eines Sextett für Streichinstrumente); Herr Gustav Mahler (Scherzo eines Clavier-Quintetts, der Clavierpart vom Componisten gespielt); Herr Rudolf Pichler (Präludium und Saraband aus einer Suite für Orchester; Fräulein Mathilde von Kralik (Intermezzo aus einer Suite für Orchester). Erstgenannte Nummer zeichnete sich durch wirklich musikalischen Inhalt, durch geschickte Verwerthung nobler Ideen aus; das Scherzo durch Frische und natürlichen Fluß; die beiden Orchestersätze (von den Betreffenden selbst dirigirt) zeugten von fleißigem Partitur-Studium.

Compositions were presented by: Mr. Rudolf Krzyzanowsky (Adagio from a Sextet for Strings); Mr. Gustav Mahler (Scherzo of a Piano Quintet, the piano part played by the composer); Herr Rudolf Pichler (Prelude and Sarabande from a Suite for Orchestra, Fraulein Mathilde of Kralik (Intermezzo from a Suite for Orchestra). The first of these was characterized by its genuinely musical content, by its clever use of noble ideas, the scherzo by freshness and natural fluency; The two orchestral items (conducted by composers themselves) testified to diligent study of orchestration.

No other performances of this movement have been traced. It seems unlikely that this scherzo was in any way connected with the Piano Quintet movement Mahler composed in 1876, or that it ever formed part of a completed work, because, as Mahler admitted to Bauer-Lechner in July 1893, early in his career he rarely completed compositions (HLG1, 719–20):[2]

It was not only because I was anxious to begin something new...but because, while still involved in the work, I had already outgrown it and was no longer content with it...but who could have known then that it wasn't [because of a] lack of creative urge, of strength or perseverance. 

Of the string players who joined Mahler for the performance, the later career of Friedrich Skallitzky (or Skalitzky) has not yet come to light; Stefan (or Stephan) Wahl was a member of the Court Opera Orchestra from 15 August 1879–23 March 1911[1] and Johann (Hans) Kreuzinger from 1 October 1883–30 September 1917 (WBWO, 89, 93) so they both later played under Mahler in the years 18971907. Eduard Rosenblum (later Rosé)  (1859–1943) had a distinguished career as member of the Rosé Quartet (1883–84), at the Königlichen Hofoper in Budapest (188487), with the Boston Symphony Orchestra (1891–1900) and at the Weimar Hoftheater (1900–26), where Rudolf Krzyzanowski was Kapellmeister until 1911; in 1898 Rosé married Mahler's youngest sister, Emma.

 

Detail from a group photograph of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra taken in 1885

 

Detail from a group photograph of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra taken in 1885

Stefan Wahl

(c. 1885)

 

Detail from a group of portrait photographs of the members of the orinal Rosé Quartet

Johann (Hanns) Kreutzinger

(c. 1885)

 

 

 Eduard Rosenblum

(c. 1883)

 

 

Fig. 2. Contemporary photographs of three members of Mahler's Piano Quintet ensemble

(from RPPK & RQF)

See also: First movement of a Quintet (1876)

Select Bibliography

  BCGdM, 1878, 59; Martner2, 18–21.
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