A Cartoon of Mahler



Symphony No. 1

Annotated copyist's score – ACF1


CDN-Lu Mahler-Rosé Collection, OS-MD-694


Fascicle structure




























































  [?1888; revised ?1892]


  Black ink (unidentified scribe), with autograph revisions and corrections:

First movement: blue, red and green crayon (green seems to post-date blue crayon – see fol. 7v; 19v), pencil (used to delete blue crayon on fol. 14v) and in brown and red ink

Scherzo: brown ink, (revisions, definitely before blue crayon and pencil revisions, and probably before pencil revisions), pencil (revisions), red ink corrections (few: before blue crayon revisions), blue crayon (revisions; rehearsal numbers),

Fifth movement: pencil (most before blue crayon and green crayon, but some thick pencil annotations seem to post-date the blue crayon), brown ink (before blue crayon), red ink (before blue crayon), green crayon (after pencil: see fol. 27r), red crayon (some at least after some blue crayon layers)


  A 16 staves, no maker's mark, upright format, 326 x 249 (r = 284)
  B 20 staves, no maker's mark, upright format, 325 x 250 (r = 286)
  C 16 staves, no maker's mark, upright format, 329 x 250 (r = 273½)

Manuscript structure and collation


Bound in two volumes: black, cloth-covered boards, with faded  black spine; mainly stacked bifolia glued into gatherings and stitched onto tapes; paper trimmed with some loss of page numbers and marginal notes. Volume one contains movements I and III (77 folios), and volume two, movement V (80 folios, including an autograph Einlage of 6 fol.). Use the links on the left of this page to view detailed descriptions of the make-up of these two volumes.


  ?Justine (Mahler) Rosé; Alfred Rosé; Mrs Alfred Rosé (gift to the University of Western Ontario)


The two volumes that make up this document in fact arrived by rather different routes, as was explained by Lisa Philpott, Music Librarian at CDN-Lu (to whom I'm I'm grateful not only for this information, but immense help and kindness during my visit to the collection):

The first volume of Mahler's Symphony No. 1 manuscript ... was received ca. 1989 as part of Mrs. Maria Rosé's original donation to the Music Library. To the best of my knowledge, this would have coincided with the sale of Mrs. Rosé's house - and her move into an apartment.

Several years later, in the summer of 1992-1993, our Emeritus Professor, choral conductor Deral Johnson (DJ), made a visit to the Music Library, bearing a box. Inside, was a familiar-looking, rather tatty volume - an obvious companion to the ... volume residing in the Gustav Mahler-Alfred Rosé Room. "DJ" remarked that he had had this volume for several years, and said something to the effect that "I was visiting Maria around the time that she was moving house, and I saw this [volume] sitting in a box, destined for the curb [i.e. for trash collection]. Now, I thought it looked too good to let it go, so I picked it up. I've been meaning to give it to the Library for a long time, and since I'm getting ready to move, I thought I had best bring it in."



  Volume I

Complete score, facsimile

Fol. 1r, movement I, bb. 1–5: SMFS, 104

Fol. 2v, movement I, bb. 6–11: SMFS, 113

Movement II, complete score, b&w facsimile

Fol. 47r, movement III (i.e. scherzo), bb. 79–83: SMFS, 109

Volume II

Complete score, facsimile

Fol. 43v, movement V: SMFS, 123

Fol. 76v, movement V, Einlage: SMFS, 121

Fol. 77r, movement V, Einlage: SMFS, 122

Select Bibliography

  SMMRC, 396; SMFS, passim


  Fl 1–2 (one = picc), ob 1–2, cl in Ba symbol: a flat sign/A/C 1–2, bsn 1–2

Hn in F 1–4, tpt in F 1–2 (1–3 in finale), trb 1–3, btuba

Timp (1 player), trgl, cym, bd

Harp, strings

Mahler's revisions add fl 3 in all three movements, and ob 3, cl 3 and bsn 3 in the scherzo and finale. A green crayon annotation to the harp part on 6v demands womöglich doppelt zu besetzen. Annotations on 33v refer to clarinett in Es and [Cornets à] Piston.

See SMFS, 107–8 for a tabular summary of the gradual expansion of the instrumentation of the work in ACF1, AF2 and ACF2.



The exact date and circumstances of the production of this copy is unknown, but it is likely that Mahler commissioning it early on so that it could serve as the working copy of the new piece. In the summer of 1888 it was certainly Mahler's intention to have such a copy prepared in September 1888, as he refers to the plan in a letter to Paul Bernhard Limburger, one of the directors of the Leipzig Gewandhaus, with whom he had correspondence in the hope of securing a performance of the work there (HLG1, 184 and 868, fn. 75). On the other hand Mahler might conceivably have postponed the preparation of the score until after the delegation from the Budapest Philharmonic had approached him in early September 1889, with a request for permission to perform one of his symphonic works (ZRGMH, 75).

The rehearsal letters have been entered into ACF1 by Mahler in blue crayon, probably indicating that this copy was prepared directly from the lost autograph (which presumably had none): their presence here confirms that this was intended as a conducting score. The placing of the numbers only intermittently corresponds to that of the first edition: Mahler only employs numbers in the absence of any other obviously point of orientation (e.g. a key or time-signature change), but generally there are fewer intervening bars between the various reference points than in the revised numbering sequence. In later years Mahler reversed this trend, and in the late works the bar-counts between rehearsal numbers are again usually quite low.

The physical makeup of the manuscript and its binding – discussed in a separate note about the original movement order – provide strong evidence that when bound it contained five movements, with Blumine and the funeral march bound in at the start of the second volume. The present physical structure offers no clue as to the order of the movements, though on the balance a sequence with Blumine as the third movement seems marginally more probable.

The scherzo is one bar shorter (357 bars) in this version, omitting what is bar 170 in the published version, but the formal design of the finale, particularly the development and recapitulation, differs significantly from that of the 1893 version; for an extended discussion of the differences (together with transcriptions) see SMFS, passim.

The scoring of the work at this stage in its evolution is for a conventionally-sized orchestra, and the the articulation, phrasing, dynamics and handling of tempo seem under-characterised in comparison with the published versions of ten and twenty-two years later. Despite this, the unusual structural treatment of tempo contrasts and accelerandi in the first movement (though not that of the Scherzo - see PBMVM, 16–9) is clearly adumbrated here.

Mahler probably made some corrections and revisions at the time of the critically unsuccessful first performance of the work, on 20 November 1889, and he returned to the score some years later, in late 1892 or early 1893, when he annotated it extensively while  revising the work, a process that was so far-reaching that it eventually entailed the creation of a new autograph score – AF2.

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© 2007 Paul Banks | This page was lasted edited on 22 December 2017