The Symphony No. 6 in A minor by Gustav Mahler, sometimes referred to as the Tragische ("Tragic"), was composed between 1903 and 1904 (rev. 1906; scoring repeatedly revised). The work's first performance was in Essen on 27-05-1906, and was conducted by the Gustav Mahler. The tragic, even nihilistic, ending ...
The first movement, which for the most part has the character of a march, features a motif consisting of an A major triad turning to A minor over a distinctive timpani rhythm. The chords are played by trumpets and oboes when first heard, with the trumpets sounding most loudly ...
The andante provides a respite from the intensity of the rest of the work. Its main theme is an introspective ten-bar phrase in E-flat major, though it frequently touches on the minor mode as well. The orchestration is more delicate and reserved in this movement, making it all the ...
The scherzo marks a return to the unrelenting march rhythms of the first movement, though in a 'triple-time' metrical context. Its trio (the middle section), marked Altväterisch ('old-fashioned'), is rhythmically irregular (4/8 switching to 3/8 and 3/4) and of a somewhat gentler character. According to Alma Mahler, in this ...
The last movement is an extended sonata form, characterized by drastic changes in mood and tempo, the sudden change of glorious soaring melody to deep agony. The movement is punctuated by three hammer blows. Alma quoted her husband as saying that these were three mighty blows of fate befallen ...
- 1 Bass clarinet A. Solo in Movement 1: Allegro energico, ma non troppo and Movement 4: Finale (Allegro moderato).
- 1 Bass clarinet Bb. Solo in Movement 1: Allegro energico, ma non troppo and Movement 4: Finale (Allegro moderato).
- 4 Bassoon.
- 3 Clarinet A.
- 3 Clarinet Bb.
- 3 Clarinet Eb.
- 1 Contra bassoon.
- 3 Cor Anglais ...