Energisch, Stormily agitated – Energetic. The fourth movement is by far the most involved, and expansive. It brings back several elements from the first movement, unifying the symphony as a whole. The movement begins with an abrupt cymbal crash, a loud chord in the upper woodwinds, string and brass, and a bass drum hit, all in succession. This contrasts greatly with the end of the third movement. As the strings continue in a frenzy of notes, fragments of a theme in F minor appear, presented forcefully in the brass, before being played in entirety by the majority of winds:
The movement continues frantically until an expansive lyrical theme is presented in the strings. Eventually, the opening fragments in the brass emerge, and the energy picks up once more.
Mahler then presents the initial motive, in the brass, this time in D major, and the horns play a full-forced altered version of the descending fourth pattern from the beginning of the symphony, as if heading to a climax.
However, this climax is not realized, and the momentum sinks to another lyrical section, bringing back other quotes from the first movement, including fanfares, and material from Lied 2: Ging heut’ Morgen uber’s Feld.
Also included is material from the original second movement Blumine, before the above theme returns in minor one last time in the strings, leading to its repetition in D major by the brass and reaching a true climax. The symphony concludes with fanfare material from the beginning.
- 001-005 Dissonance, interpreted by Mahler as Aufschrei eines im Tiefsten verwundeten Herzens (Outcry of a deeply wounded heart).
- 006-008 The Cross symbol in the minor version.
- 008-018 Inferno triplets.
- 019-021 Anticipation of a motif from the main theme.
- 021-024 Inferno triplets.
- 025-032 Wail (cf. Das klagende Lied, No. 81).
- 032-039 Inferno triplets.
- 039-054 Fourfold Cross motif in the minor version.