Symphony No. 4

Introduction Symphony No. 4

The Symphony No. 4 in G major by Gustav Mahler was written in 1899 and 1900, though it incorporates a song originally written in 1892. The song, "Das himmlische Leben", presents a child's vision of Heaven. It is sung by a soprano in the work's fourth and last movement ...

Movement 1: Bedachtig-nicht eilen-recht gemachlich

Moderately, not rushed, Sonata form. Flutes and sleigh bells open the unusually restrained first movement (and used later with a melodic theme known commonly as the 'bell theme', which helps define sections throughout the movement) often described as possessing classical poise. As would be expected for the first movement ...

Movement 2: In gemächlicher Bewegung
  • Scherzo.
  • Violin solo.

Leisurely moving, without haste. Scherzo and Trio. The second movement is a scherzo that features a part for a solo violin whose strings are tuned a tone higher than usual. The violin depicts Freund Hein, (lit. "Friend Henry") a figure from medieval German art; Hain ...

Movement 3: Ruhevoll (poco adagio)

Peacefully, somewhat slowly. Theme and variations. The third movement is a solemn processional march cast as a set of variations. Mahler uses the theme and variation structure in a more unconventional way.

This movement can be divided into five main sections: A1 – B1 – A2 – ...

Movement 4: Lied: Das himmlische Leben (Sehr behaglich)

Was originally part of Des Knaben Wunderhorn. See: Introduction Des Knaben Wunderhorn, 12 songs number 3.

Very comfortably. Strophic. The fourth movement opens with a relaxed, bucolic scene in G major. A child, voiced by a soprano, presents a sunny, naive vision of Heaven and describes the ...

Orchestration Symphony No. 4


  • 3 Bassoon. 
  • 3 Clarinet A. 
  • 3 Clarinet Bb.
  • 2 Clarinet C.
  • 1 Clarinet Eb
  • 1 Contra bassoon. Solo in 
  • 1 Cor Anglais (English horn).  
  • 4 Flute. 
  • 3 Oboe.
  • 2 Piccolo. 


  • 4 Horn F (French horn). Solo in 
  • 3 Trumpet Bb.
  • 3 Trumpets F.

String ...