A Cartoon of Mahler



Symphony No. 2

Draft text, movement 5 – AL3


US-NYp Bruno Walter Collection, Series 16: C. JOB 85-4


Link to a comparison of AL2, AL3 and the text as set.











  Undated [13–29 June 1894]


  Black ink, with pencil deletion


  Unruled, no maker's mark, upright format, 345 x 210

Manuscript structure and collation

  2 fol.:
  [1r] = draft text for the finale, six stanzas
  [1v–2r] = blank
  [2v] = inscription from Fritz Löhr to Bruno Walter:

Bruno Walter / übergab ich dies alte, zur Zeit / der Entstehung des Werkes für / mich beschriebene Blatt / in tiefer herzlicher Dankbarkeit / aus meinem Besitz / zu Neujahr 1912 / Friedrich Löhr

To Bruno Walter I present this old sheet from my collection, written out for me at the time of the creation of the work, with deeply heart-felt thanks, at New Year 1912, Friedrich Löhr.



Ex coll. Fritz Löhr, who presented the draft to Bruno Walter on 1 January 1912. Offered for sale at by J.A. Stargardt on 23/24 November 1971, lot 721.


  Complete colour facsimile: US-NYp

[1r]: GMS2Fac, 49; GKMRC, 24; NKGII.2, 194

Select Bibliography

  HLG1F, 1027–29; GMS2Fac, 62; GKMRC; NKGII.2, [189]195



The dating of this draft relative to AL2 is uncertain and contrary views have been taken by Edward R. Reilly (ERBH, 62) and, apparently, the editors of NKGII. Reilly believed that AL3 to be the earlier of the two documents, chiefly because of the absence of the crucial lines:

O Schmerz! Du Alldurchdringer!

Dir bin ich entrungen!

O Tod, du Allbezwinger!

Nun bist du bezwungen!

These are present in AL2 and the text as set, so their omission is perplexing if AL3 post-dates AL2. In a footnote (ERBH, 61, fn. 14), Reilly also suggested that 'it is most interesting that a thematic link that one finds between the song and the finale in just that passage that was added by Mahler to his text [i.e. in AL2]', which, were it the case, might also offer some slight support for J.B. Foerster's report that the decision to include Urlicht in the Symphony was a late one, made only after the work's finale had been completed. But one might respond that the reference to the music of Urlicht (b.660ff) is a setting not of the four 'missing' lines absent from AF3, but text that is present, albeit in variant forms, in both AL2 and AL3:

[Mit Flügeln, die ich mir errungen]

In heissem Liebesstreben

werd' ich entschweben

zum Licht, zu dem kein Aug' gedrungen!

On the wider issue of the chronological ordering of the libretto drafts, some observations can be offered in support of the alternative ordering of the drafts adopted here and in NKGII:

AL2 retains a closer connection with the Mahler's original source of inspiration, by ending with a return to the opening stanza by Klopstock; AL3 drops this idea and instead uses stanza VI of AL2 as the concluding text, the solution adopted in the text as set.

• The assignment in AL3 of the third stanza to the alto (rather than the soprano, as in AL2) was adopted in the final setting.

• AL3 adopts revisions made in AL2 (e.g. stanza IV, line 2)

S5.6 adopts revisions made in AL3 (e.g. stanza III, line 2)

None of these observations is decisive, and because of the unavailability of most of Mahler's composition draft [SS5] and the entire orchestral draft [OD5] the issue of the chronology of these text drafts cannot be finally resolved.

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© 2007 Paul Banks | This page was lasted edited on 25 August 2018