1. Year 1896: 11-04-1896: Completes orchestration of Movement 2 of Symphony No. 3.
  2. Year 1896: 09-11-1896: Music from Mahler's Symphony No. 3 was first heard in concert when Arthur Nikisch (1855-1922) conducted Movement 2 under the title 'Blumenstuck' ('Flower Piece') in ...
History Symphony No. 3
Composed Pre premiere ...
Introduction Symphony No. 3

Symphony No. 3 by Gustav Mahler was written between 1893 and 1896. It is his longest piece and is the longest symphony in the standard repertoire, with a typical performance lasting around ninety to one hundred minutes.

In its final form, the work has six movements, grouped ...

Movement 1: Kraftig. Entschieden

"Pan Awakes, Summer Marches In"

Strong and decisive. D minor to F major.

The symphony, particularly due to the extensive number of movements and their marked differences in character and construction, is a unique work. The opening movement, colossal in its conception (much like the ...

Movement 2: Tempo di minuetto. Sehr massig

"What the Flowers in the Meadow Tell Me"

In the tempo of a minuet. A major.

Mahler dedicated the second movement to "the flowers on the meadow". In contrast to the violent forces of the first movement, it starts as a graceful Menuet, but also ...

Movement 3: Comodo. Scherzando. Ohne Hast

"What the Animals in the Forest Tells Me"

Comfortably, like a scherzo. C minor to C major.

The third movement, a scherzo, with alternating sections in 2/4 and 6/8 metre, quotes extensively from Mahler's early song "Ablösung im Sommer" (Relief in Summer). In the trio ...

Movement 4: Lied 1: Sehr langsam!  Misterioso: O Mensch! gib Acht!

"What Man Tells Me"

Very slowly, mysteriously. A minor. "Midnight song".

At this point, in the sparsely instrumentated fourth movement, we hear an alto solo singing a setting of Friedrich Nietzsche's "Midnight Song" from Also sprach Zarathustra "O Mensch! Gib acht!" ("O man! Take ...

Movement 5: Lied 2: Lustig im Tempo und keck im Ausdruck: Bimm bamm. Es sungen drei Engel einen Sussen Gesang

"What the Angels Tell Me"

Cheerful in tempo and cheeky in expression. F major.

The cheerful fifth movement, "Es sungen drei Engel", is one of Mahler's Des Knaben Wunderhorn songs, (whose text itself is loosely based on a 17th-century church hymn, which Paul Hindemithlater used ...

Movement 6: Langsam. Ruhevoll. Empfunden

"What Love Tells Me"

Slowly, tranquil, deeply felt. D major.

Of the great finale, Bruno Walter wrote, “In the last movement, words are stilled—for what language can utter heavenly love more powerfully and forcefully than music itself? The Adagio, with its broad, solemn melodic line, ...

Orchestration Symphony No. 3


  • 1 Bass clarinet Bb. 
  • 4 Bassoon. 
  • 4 Clarinet Bb.
  • 2 Clarinet Eb.
  • 1 Contra bassoon. 
  • 1 Cor Anglais (English horn). 
  • 4 Flute. 
  • 4 Oboe. 
  • 4 Piccolo.