In part one, Mahler sets a medieval latin hymn to music in one of his most directly expressive and straightforward symphonic movements. As in all the first movements of his middle period symphonies, Mahler carries his thematic material forward on the solid rhythmic foundation of a march beat. In this case, slightly set off-balanced by shifting meters.
The predominance of March rhythms in part one suits its robust call to the creative spirit and the heroic nature of the ensuing battle with the negative forces that try to debilitate it.
Tonic harmonies predominate, as do diatonic themes. The polyphonic writing for multi choral and orchestral forces, the certainly the most complex that Mahler ever wrote, themes are more attuned to vocal than orchestral writing, yet are treated symphonicly, the music makes its greatest impact through the force of its rhythmic component, and the power of its choral, orchestral tooties that are spiritually inspired, and a flame with passion, contrasts, and dualities are a fundamental characteristic of part one. For example, Mahler extracts musical symbols, representing light and darkness from thematic material, to form motives that bind together parts one and two. The positive symbol of light derived from the first veiny theme, contrasts with the negative symbol for doubt and skepticism, appearing later in part one. The light motive in his various configurations plays a significant role throughout both parts, providing a conceptual as well as musical connection between them. The four note arching figure, which I call the motive of redemption, plays an important part in the formation of thematic material in part one, and reaches its definitive form in part two. The same textual words and phrases are sometimes sung to different musical notes. While conversely, the same musical ideas are sometimes set to different texts, creating an extraordinary conceptual relationship between words and music. Mahler skillfully manipulates his musical ideas, and radically transforms their character throughout this part, indicating how far he has come in developing his art of thematic and motivic transformation.
Musical and textual dualities are established in the exposition heightened during the development and eliminated rather than resolved in the recapitulation, they await Part Two for the resolution.
Harmonically the major tonality of the uplifting accende chorus contrasts with the E minor tonality of the whole stem section, forming the principal dualism between positive and negative aspects of the human spirit. Divergences from traditional sonata form are much in evidence in part one, as they generally are in first movements of Mahler’s middle period symphonies. while retaining the basic Sonata outline, Mahler deviates from classical principles of key structure and harmonic progression. For example, although the movement is essentially an E flat major, the second theme is in D flat major, a tonality quite foreign to the home key and returns in the recapitulation in a flat major rather than in the tonic. Michel considers Mahler’s efforts to impose sonata form upon his material, such as forcing the music and text into the confines of principal and subordinate subjects to be too perfunctory, and consequently less than completely successful. To a certain extent, his point is well taken, especially in a texturally complex choral movement. Yet more undoubtedly considered the dualistic principles of sonata form appropriate for an opening movement that presents contrasting subjects that provide the principal argument of the entire Symphony. The development opens with a rhythmically distorted version of the opening March music supplications intensify, leading to a cry of illumination in E major Mahler’s heavenly key. After the boy choir sings a carol like song of joy, a battle march in E minor engages the enemy, leading to a double feud that ends in a long triumphant E flat major procession on the original marching tune and its soaring thematic consequence. This double fugue is surprisingly regular inform based upon Da Capo procedure, while the third and sixth sections of the development correspond to and enclose the highly dramatic scene, which concludes with the double fugue. The theme of illumination is presented in E flat major during the recapitulation as a symbol of victory over the forces of darkness. Mahler omits from the recapitulation, any reference to the second part of the veiny theme. having dealt With it at length and in the development of juvenile coda concentrating on flat keys, as does much of part one brings all the principal themes together before the closing section reasserts the home key. Mahler achieved remarkable synchronization of words and music here, he claimed that after arriving at his summer retreat in 1906, prepared to immerse himself in composing the work, he noticed an inconsistency in the text that he had with him, which caused him to believe that it was either incomplete or otherwise incorrect. He asked that the for him the sent to him immediately, when it arrived, he had already composed the music, and low and behold, it fit to the text perfectly, as if, in composing the music, he knew instinctively what the text should be. Constantine Floros believes the story apocryphal, he suggests that an examination of the relationship between the words and the music reveals that Mahler was not guided by the idea of absolute music as he claimed, but by the text to which key musical passages are often geared.
Elements of the first theme are contained in the second key words are reversed, and the word “Creator” is repeated. According to floros, the invocation is apparently at the center of the first theme, whereas the second theme refers to the Creator Spirit himself. The second theme contains the significant word implant, while repeating another important word “Grazia” the informales segment as the shape of the Veni theme in variation form, repeated words use similar repeated musical phrases. Key symbolism also has a textual connotation, the whole stem theme, which represents the antagonist, to the Veni theme as protagonist, is the reverse of the Veni theme, without repetition of the first phrase. The attendee theme in E major is a variant of the veiny theme, with a longing motive added. Even the bells according to Floros, are used as a symbolical reference to transcendence. Part one opens in a resplendent mood full of spirit and enthusiasm. Without a single measure of introduction, the exposition begins at once on a strong low E flat, thus immediately sounding the tonic route, it is followed in the middle of the bar by an equally powerful E flat major chord on the organ that hails the entrance of the first theme in both choruses, to the words “Veni, veni Creator Spiritus” the choruses joyfully resound with a resilient theme, which we’ll call veiny one, as a mighty evocation of the creative spirit sourced in Divine majesty, veiny one begins with Mahler’s favorite interval, the fourth ear falling, played in a trochaic rhythm long short, followed after a single beat rest by a rising seventh. The three nodes that comprise these two countervailing intervals form a motific cell that is reconstituted by trombones and trumpets immediately after the opening choral statement of any one into the motive of light., the principle motive that links part one and part two.
Veiny one acts like a spark that ignites the light motive, and is in turn illuminated by it. Following the first three notes sell of any one, a two bar turn figure appears. The first two notes of which are played in dotted rhythm, giving the phrase a martial character, veiny one concludes with a dotted rhythm on three repeated notes sung to the word spiritus. This cellular figure will take on symbolic and motivic significance when set to other words later in part one, metric shifts from bar to bar within veiny one create a sense of imbalance that counters the firm assertiveness of the theme.
When chorus one begins to repeat, veiny one violins present a flowing lyrical phrase that has a verity in quality, which contrasts with the declaratory character veiny one, we’ll call this violin phrase veiny one a listen to it.
Veiny two enters with firm resolution in tenors and basses on the dotted rhythm that ended veiny one song to the same word that concluded it spiritus tremolo eighth note figuration in the strings adds vigor to this themes demonstrative expression of the creative spirit. Following the dotted rhythm veiny two continues with a lyrical phrase that is a variant of the opening measure veiny one A here rising rather than falling.
As an ascending theme veiny two connotes aspiration, yet without a definitive goal, because it does not end in resolution. This does not imply the absence of a goal, but that its achievement has already been attained. In contrast of anyone’s extrovert expression, veiny two appears more personal and internalized.
Functioning as a lyrical bridge between themes veiny one A, the violin phrase acts as a catalyst, which unites veiny one and veiny to the smaller sets up the first of several dualities that will be resolved during the course of the symphony. In this instance, the contrast is between external objective and internal personal creative power. Both are interconnected motivicly, and also linked together by veiny one A, whose lyricism implies that love will be the catalyst that revives and fulfills the creative spirit.
Veiny one and the light motive return in close stretto interaction with the former in the treble and the ladder in the base. Soon we hear cries of veni, veni on falling octaves that sound like a summons to action. After the first subject reaches a climax on a strong D flat major chord held over a retort by sopranos and altos against an extension of any two’s falling phrase in tenors and basses. The music softens and eases into the second subject. The soloist group now takes center stage, soprano one tenderly sings the words in place “superna gratia,quae tu creasti, pectora“, to a new theme of soft prayerful expression of hope for grace as a means to release of creative essence. This inplay theme is more horizontal and lyrical than either of the two principal veiny themes, and therefore relates to the warm lyricism of veiny one A, the catalyst between the veiny themes, yet it also parallels veiny two’s lyrical elements, and includes a variant of the dotted rhythmic figure contained in both veiny one and veiny to this time, with the notes falling stepwise rather than being repeated and sung to the word gratia, grace. Thus spiritus and gratzia are linked symbolically through a musical nexus.
Mahler treats the in-play theme contrapuntally, both in the soloist group and a reduced orchestra with interweaving counter themes moving in all directions. Yet the texture never becomes overly dense. A sense of repose that comes from being in God’s grace is expressed with angelic warmth. In the midst of this aspiration for divine benevolence veiny one reappears momentarily in soprano one, on the words quae tu creasti, which you have created, referring to the opening line of the text, woodwinds proceed the brief reference to veiny, one with a variant of veiny one A.
The in-play theme is restated softly in chorus one in A flat major, with soprano one entering on the same theme one measure later male voices of chorus two accompany them with a variant of long falling scaler phrase from the same theme sopranos and altos from chorus one then quietly assert the dotted rhythm that ended veiny one and began veiny two, this time on the word pectora, thereby linking it with the words spirituals and gratia in a trinitarian nexus that conjoins the worldly and the super worldly through divine grace.
Metric shifts during the extension of the second subject recall their use in veiny one, loss anticipating is for prize that is also suggested by a variant of veiny one A song by the soloists so the words Qui diceris Paraclitus, bow who is called the comforter and accompanied by the violin figure that extended veiny one A.
This veiny one variant, like the veiny one itself sounds more objective and descriptive than intimate and personal, with words set to musical phrases that have accompanied veiny one earlier. The contrast between the detached feeling of Qui Paraclitus, and the self-satisfied character of in-play is felt more fully when the latter returns sung to the words fons vivus, ignis, caritas, et spiritalis unctio, the living spring, the living fire,sweet unction and true love.
Smoothing out the dotted rhythm into a trochaic figure on repeated notes, a new motivic variant is sung twice to the word tuorum. Mahler develops his motives throughout part one, by repeating or overlapping a motivic cell sung to the same word. Another variation of the dotted rhythm related to the trinity of Spiritus, gratia, pectora is sung to the word caritas.
When a hint of veiny one appears in the two solo sopranos, the first subject cannot be far behind. It returns vigorously in the lower voices after its first full restatement elements of veiny two enter in contrary motion between courses in the orchestra. The trochaic variant of the dotted rhythm sung earlier to donum is now repeated on the word in play with a hangover from the word creator overlapping it, this hints at the return of veiny two it now begins to sound like an outgrowth of veiny one so that the duality of external and internal aspects of the spirit already begins the process that will integrate them and thereby resolve their conflict by implying that the internal subjective aspect of the human spirit is sourced in and emanates from the external object of aspect. The former can then be seen as the ladder’s fulfillment.
Mahler seeks here to bridge the gap between the two without losing human individuality. Sopranos and altos soar heavenward on an inversion of veiny one A, after which the lower voices give out a mighty declaration of the dotted rhythmic motive on pectoral as the music radiates with joy. The cadential closing of the return of the first subject is telescoped into a transitional passage to the closing section.
In the opening allegro tempo, winds and strings pronounce a new two-bar chorale-like phrase consisting of two pairs of half notes, the first of which rises by a diminished sixth, and the second by a diminished fifth.
It should be noted that the second of these intervals was denounced as musicas in diabolus, the devil’s music at the time this latin hymn was written. These diminished intervals give the chorale a sinister quality that contrasts with the double rising feature that emanates a yearning quality. The light motive reappears first in winds and then in violins in an organ, against an aggressively rhythmic and diminutive version of the dotted rhythmic motive and violins that sounds like a call to battle. A fragment of veiny one variation is treated canonically. As the music presses forward, it becomes more horizontal, on a belowy two-bar phrase in quarter notes. The second measure mirroring the first played by woodwinds and tremolo strings against a repeating diminutive version of the first three notes of the light motive that serves as rhythmic accompaniment to a powerful statement of the light motive and horns. These ushers in the closing section of the exposition. Mahler uses this technique of creating rhythmic accompaniment from motivic material in both his third and sixth symphonies. Let’s listen from the entrance of the four-note brass chorale.
When the tonality shifts to D minor to begin an orchestral interlude, the two-bar phrase that served as part of the rhythmic accompaniment to the light motive just before the commencement of the closing section is played in double time by winds and strings to the timing of deep bells that add a mysterious aura to the scene, especially when playing against an octave organ pedaled on the dominant A, five horns with bells up give out a mighty statement of the light motive that is repeated immediately by trombones. Soon the music subsides on rocking eighth’s that hide a diminutive variant of the light motive within them.
Altos and tenors from chrous two softly and calmly sing the words in infirma nostri corporis, endow our infirmed bodies to a soothing variant veiny one, its first two words are set to a repeating trochaic figure that recalls the musical cell to which donum was sung earlier. But rather than on repeated notes, Mahler uses a falling minor third, the same textual phrase is repeated on the second half of veiny one, so that the word cordibus is sung to the dotted rhythmic motive that was used for the trinitarian grouping of the word. Spiritus, gratia, pectora.
Veiny one A accompanies infirma in violins, as infirma continues to expand playfully, a solo violin adds a flighty touch of 16th note and triplet figuration that recalls the bird of death segment, proceeding, the opening chorus and the finale of the Second Symphony. The singers pray for the strength to overcome their weakness, portrayed musically in the combination of the sluggish choral variant on veiny one and the tipsy solo violin figuration.
Chorus one gradually enters on elongated elements of the second subject in play, while basis quietly but in accented tones sing the light motive, the following dotted rhythm of which is extended by tenors. The home key is reestablished to conclude the exposition, but the mood changes radically then become much calmer. The words firmans, virtute, perpeti are added to the infirma text in a prayer for everlasting strength. This is sung to a variation of the in play theme in altos and violins against an inverted version of veiny two in tenors and cellos. This combination again suggests the principal duality is presented in the exposition. Chorus one enters softly on inverted variant of veiny one that overlaps with an inverted version of the light motive. Sung by the basis of course to the words virtute perpeti, which has given emphasis and firmness by trumpets and trombones in a broader temple.
Stretched out treatment of the inverted light motif and brass and choral forces heightens the tension as the music seems to move toward a climax.
On an accented falling phrase, at the height of a crescendo, the climax fails to achieve closure. Instead, all we hear is a sustained tremolo and cellos and basses on a low be natural, barely audible.
It causes an abrupt change in direction of both tonality and mood. With this radical dislocation and upending of expectations, the development begins, tempo one is reestablished, but now marked Allegro etwas hastig, somewhat hurried. The atmosphere is filled with mystery, but Mahler’s treatment of the thematic material that follows gives it a puckish character, muted horns play the light motive, softly but fleetingly its dotted rhythmic ending is then repeated, and altered in trumpets and strings.
Accented falling seconds recall the donum version of the dotted rhythm cell from the veiny one. Shifting meters display the normally firm and even stresses of the march beat that is now strangely out of kilter. This sustained low be natural in cellos and basses soon turns back into the tremolo with which the development began as the unbalanced marching pace suddenly stops, there are only six measures.
When the tremolo descends chromatically to A flat, the march resumes trying to keep up steady 4/4 meter despite frequent meter shifts. The tolling of deep bells has an ominous ring. an inverted variant of the light motive follows in horns, leading into a variation of veiny one in oboes. With the appearance of this theme, the stage is set for its extensive development, in combination with the light motive, like a lightning bolt a sudden thrust of this motive pierces the mysterious stillness, particles of light are scattered about the orchestra in pointillistic fashion, one can imagine Anton Webern, musing over this passage with great interest. The next excerpt begins at the beginning of the development.
On an open fifth chord in A flat, the first segment of the development concludes, but its air of mystery continues as the wispy quarter note chords that close the chorale of the exposition now return, this time they are played briskly by a chamber ensemble of flutes and violins. When the key of C sharp minor is established, the tempo becomes twice as slow although this change seems to have no effect on the floating figuration that introduced it, as it continues in double time, the bass soloist enters on a variant of the light motive that is extended upon elements of veni two and sung to the words infirma nostri corporis as if in reaction to the rhythmic dislocation of the preceding section. The music rises to a brief climax as the soloist sing the line virtute firmans perpeti on the in play theme. This combination of thematic material forms a counter theme to the original infirma phrase, we’ll call this infirma two, and another duality is thus established, this one between the theme of frailty associated with infirma one, and that have the strength to overcome it associated with infirma two, as if empowered by the force of these words, the music becomes more passionate, veiny one A enters in overlapping counterpoint in the vocal soloists and orchestra, infirma one reappears in the solo Sopranos in stretto, with the baritone and bass, sounding more like a variant of any one to affirm the duality that’s established, infirma two continues in F major on its way to D major.
Breath pause holds the music and suspense after which D major is reached, and the music becomes even calmer and more reassuring. The words lumen accende sensibus are sung to the same theme used in the exposition, for the words firmans virtute, lumen accende one deals with spiritual reality, touching upon and changing material reality through the ascendance of light. In restating the music used for firmans virtute, Mahler implies that the textual phrase-making firm by perpetual strength and the phrase may light kindle our senses explain and interpret each other. The musical conjunction of these related textual phrases underlines their conceptual connection, a positive connection between the two themes as affirmed and they are linked together with veiny one A, which acts as a motivic catalyst, aspiring to fulfillment the music soars heavenward, unlike in play and veiny one, both the manner of aspiration and the fulfillment sought are not overt, they are external manifestation being disguised in seeming tranquility.
A hint of veiny one sounds in flutes and solo violin warming the atmosphere, how peaceful and content the music now becomes floating on billowy clouds of song from veiny two interweaving counterpoints, treating its descending scaler figure independently, veiny one fragments on solo violin, try to provide reassurance, cellos and bassoons follow with the light motive. And horns add the original version of the same motive while the trumpets play an elongated version of it.
The ambivalence of veiny one now becomes evident. Its original extrovert character being tamed by the subjective internalized sensibilities of the second subject.
Violins softly rise out of these veiny one variants, and suddenly strings and woodwinds burst out with a powerful chord that introduces E major, Mahler’s heavenly key. An impassioned transition to the return of the first subject follows in a broader temple on overlapping augmented and diminutive variations of veiny one and the light motive. In only four measures this newly found assertiveness propels the music to a climax, which is held in abeyance by a breath pause on the upbeat entry of the chorus to the agenda segment that follows. All voices shout the first syllable of assent just before the breath pause, holding its resolution in abeyance and thereby creating overwhelming tension. When they complete the word accende, they sing it to a new thematic figure that combines elements of veiny one with the rising motive of longing, extended by the falling scalar phrase of lumen accende two. Choruses sing this new theme to a gayly, tripping extension of the dotted rhythm of veiny one in woodwinds and violins.
The outwardly visible world of infirma two has returned, setting off common elements from veiny one while infirma to suggests the external aspects of the human spirit, lumen accende two signifies its exuberance. Taken together they connote external reality revealed by internal illumination by lumen accende one such musical textual representations of further complicated by references to elements of veiny two particularly its dotted rhythm, as well as veiny one, its stepwise rising motion, and series of peaks representing aspiration and fulfillment.
It would appear that lumen accende two has transcended the duality of veiny one and two, with it’s in cooperation of the all-important symbolic light motif significantly related to the word lumen in the text, lumen accende two plays a central role in part one, and reappears in part two as a key symbol of illumination against agitated rhythms in the strings, this luminous motive now sounds majestically in both choruses, as lumen accende two develops with the light boat of scattered about the choral and orchestral ensembles.
Boys choir enters on a phrase on more than cordibus lumen sensibus with love of our hearts iluminar senses that will be associated with their scherzondo music in part two.
Contrapuntal texture becomes increasingly complex, on a variety of diminutive variants of lumen accende two sourced in veiny one and two. This music telescopes into a new segment on the significant words Hostem repellas longius chorus two becomes more aggressive if not hostile, as they shout out the new Hostem theme in E minor. This employs elements of veiny one and two as well as in infirma one, and is driven by sharp and agitated falling staccato eighths from veiny one in strings and trombones. Both its minor tonality and savage force indicate that the whole stem theme has the role of antagonist opposing the confident illumination of lumen accende two.
Here the enemy, the Hostem is mentioned for the first time and who is this enemy, but the negative forces both internal and external that threatened to undermine the creative spirit. Choruses fiercely shout Hostem on a repeated trochaic figure consisting of dissonant intervals, arising ninth followed by a falling seventh, that enhance its ferocity. Given the overtly aggressive manner of the whole stem subject, it leaves the impression of a bold accusation against the lumen accende theme. Waves of descending chromaticism drive the whole stem theme on as it develops on an inverted version, no less powerful than the original. When the same trochaic figure is sung to the word dones, the whole stem theme seems to mock the gentle donum figure sung to the same rhythm earlier. Even the plea for peace patrem is treated in the same hostile manner, and a variation of the lyrical elements of veiny two his song forcefully in stretto, belying its gentle nature.
By the arrogance and assertiveness of the music, the choruses seem to contradict the very words they sing patrem qui protinus dones, grant us everlasting peace, falling chromatics on the inverted version of hostem makes it sound even more hubristic, horn calls on the light motive do little to counteract its hostility.
A sudden key chains to E flat major brings with it a call for guidance in the fight against the negative hostem theme to the words praevio ductore sic te praevio, vitemus omne noxium.
with the to God our way we may shun the evil, countervailing forces tried to stem the tide of negative aggression brought on by the host dems hostile forces.
This prevail theme begins with the dotted rhythm of the pectora motive contained in both veiny one and veiny two shouted out three times to rapidly descending scales and strings that maintain the tension previo continues with the lyrical phrase from veiny two the tried to counter the hostem theme when it first appeared. Cellos and basses both vocal and orchestral assert the light motive to support the cause of enlightenment that will lead the creative forces out of the dark and hostem malevolence.
Praevio reinforces order with its validation of lumen accende two, against the chaos of its antagonist post them. From here and extensive double fue begins that will last for 54 measures, deploying several thematic and multivac elements in remarkably intricate and complex polyphony, the double fue begins with praevio veiny two in the male voices of chorus two against the light motive in the soloist group veiny one and two are then combined with the second subject in play, which is developed along with an elongated variant of veiny two and the inverted light motif in chorus one, thematic elements multiply when a stretched very into the light mode of in boys choir, with a single trumpet warned not to cover the singers is set against veiny two and in play. A retrograde inversion of the light motive is played against the motives original, while veiny one praevio continues to develop at the conclusion of the double feud. These and several other major motives and themes accumulate veiny one, veiny one A, praevio, in play and the light motif, in an extremely complex profusion of contrapuntal voices. When the tonality makes a brief excursion into A major as the orchestral forces are reduced, the chorus has continued to intertwine thematic elements, as violins and flutes rise heavenward, at the height of this aspiring ascent, contrasting with the falling scalar phrase from veiny two in bass voices the solo is emphatically assert the words Per te sciamus, only temporary, on a broadened version of the rising lyrical phrase from veiny two in a flat major and in a broader tempo.
Here, Mahler omits references to the Father and the Son, leaving only an abstract the as the unifying force of creativity. The light motive accompanies this affirmation of faith in the depths of the orchestra. We will next hear the beginning of the double fugue, its complexity is astounding.
Now, the way is clear for victory, lumen asccende two enters triumphantly in radiant sunburst of E major. Just before the broaden statement of veiny one preview comes to a close in one of many examples of Mahler’s telescoping technique. With a falling fourth that opens veiny one, the longing motive and the dotted rhythm of veiny two all contrapuntal II integrated with the light motive, brass and bass singers lumen asccende two combines all of the assertive elements that seek to ascend to the heights in search of spiritual fulfillment. Boys choir and chorus one stirringly summon us to ascend to the light of self-illumination on the motive of long as chorus two continues with lumen asccende two.
Violins invert the light motors dotted rhythmic tag in the same manner that chorus too soon will on the word sensitiveness that implies a heightening of the senses.
The concluding section of the development begins by combining the second subject in play, gets returned hinted in the course as a few measures before, with both the original and inverted versions of the light motive that connect the extrovert nature of veiny one, now softened by the lyrical side of veiny two, with the internalized character of employees in a complex profusion of voices, and to an explosive cymbal crash lumen attended to his reasserted local forces hold on with all their might to a diminished C minor seventh chord supported by the full orchestra with organ.
Trombones and tuba play the inverted light motive juxtaposed with its original form and horns, pointing the way to the remainder of the veiny one theme stated forcefully by trumpets, as choral forces diminish, the soloists rise on in play, and the sopranos reach a high see that resounds with self-assurance. The motive of longing now becomes more prominent, as it appears sequentially in chorus one and the soloist group. The longing motor concludes on the dotted rhythm from the veiny themes, with a rising sixth that replicates the stretched version of this motive played earlier by violins. The singers raise their voices calling for illumination of the senses with creative light, high woodwinds and violins rise to great heights on the lyrical phrase from veiny two, once more the light motive rings out in both its inverted and original forms in the brass, while woodwinds and low strings extend that motives dotted rhythm in a falling sequence, a gigantic vocal and orchestral ensemble combined veiny two and in play with that which brought them together the motif of light in a glorious conclusion to the development section that leads straight into the return of veiny one in its original key E flat major. Let’s hear the conclusion of the double fugue to the beginning of the recapitulation, starting from the choral entrance on accende.
What a relief from the complex struggles of the development to hear the original veiny one theme sounded at the high point of this choral-orchestral build up. Notice the hint of his return in the immediately preceding measures, when the in-play theme is sung to the words veni, creator. While the music seems to have reached its goal, that goal brings us no closer to fulfillment or redemption, than we were at the beginning of part one, one my either interpret this as a failure to move beyond that which has, by implication already been achieved or as assembled of eternal return. The goal that had been sought with such passion during Part One had already been achieved, but its achievement required the illumination of light to be fully known and understood.
Let’s we forget, however, negative forces intervene against the forces of light during the development, and had to be overcome before true fulfillment could be attained. Now that these negative elements have been confronted, in, battled, and bested, they can function to enlighten the creative spirit toward greater self-understanding necessary for such fulfillment. Veiny one returns in all its glory, its call is immediately answered by the light motive on the trombones just as it was first sounded at the very beginning of part one, now it is doubled by the base forces to the words creator Spiritus is reinforcing the symbolism of illumination.
The light motive is inverted in the same base voices during a sequence of overlapping entrances and shifting placements of veiny one. As in the exposition, Qui Paraclitus is sung to the lyrical phrase from veiny two in stretto, against violent figuration from veiny one A, both veiny subjects then fuse together. In another brilliant example of thematic integration, stealthily the second subject in play enters as if it were just an extension of the veiny theme, whose path it crossed after just two measures. Veiny one and two do not alternate but are treated as integral parts of each other, and other means by which model removes the duality established between them in the exposition. As the music soars passionately, wedding veiny themes to each other, veiny one is extended and elaborated upon by absorbing veiny two and in play.
Dualities presented in the exposition and reconfigure during the struggles of the development are now integrated and united. The polar themes of infirma one and two are absorbed into the musical fabric, symbolizing the integration of external event and internal force infirma two and lumen accende two represent the whole range of events of spiritual assertiveness, moving from darkness to light, and thus illuminating the senses through multivac cross-references veiny, one, veiny two and in play broaden to include the dualities of infirma one and two, as well as those expressed by lumen attend day one and two. The assimilation of these disparate yet related themes implies that when the duality of God and man is transcended, a light illuminates the senses lumen accende, thereby bringing into being the conditions necessary for human creativity, veni creator and removing obstacles to its fulfillment does it is that by the union of contrasting aspects of the Spirit, fulfillment can be attained.
The recapitulation is presented not as a resolution of conflicting dualities, but as a memory of tensions released by the resolution already achieved, with the advent of lumen accende two during the development. It does so not as the climax or combination of the search for fulfillment, but in the same manner as the climax at praevio, sung to the theme of lumen accende two resolve the duality of veiny one and veiny two, essentially these dualities replicate the ontological polarity between being and beings, or in spiritual terms between the creator and humankind.
Resolution is achieved by an infusion of the divine spirit, not as an intrusion from without, which would annihilate the human freedom necessary for creativity by displacing the human personality is the centrifugal force, nor by replacing divine creativity by its human counterpart, as if both were interchangeable. Their convergence through divine illumination, represented by the light motive infusing lumen accende with a spark of divinity also merges the external and internal aspects of the spirit in a union capable of creative fulfillment. Returning to the sequence of musical events and the recapitulation, the rising chorale phrase reappears in conjunction with the first and second subjects, it reaches a stable conclusion on a full cadence ending on a strong A flat major chord, against the profusion of counterpoint on the likelihood of incorporating a variety of thematic permutations and winds and strings. The tempo soon broadens, and the tonality shifts to E major to usher in the coda. Light continues to appear from all directions and in all guises, then suddenly the pace quickens with the music still clinging to the multifarious representations of light diffused throughout the orchestra. Briefly the home key the flat returns as brass combined the original light motive, with its inversion against vile and figuration sourced in veiny one A, and the light motive in diminution.
To the falling scale or phrase of veiny two play by woodwinds and low strings, the boys choir sings praises to God, Glory of poetry dominance. The theme to which these words are sung combines the light motive with the arching motive of redemption, the former becoming a rhythmic model in the strings, as it did at the outset of the expositions closing section. Sopranos single broadened version of light motive on a mighty assertion of Gloria, to which alto and tenor soloist respond with the same word on the dotted rhythm of the pechter, emotive.
Joining Spiritus and Gloria on the same dotted rhythm ties them together as symbolic representations of heavenly glory and human creativity. Just as the soloists appear to have reached a cadence, both choruses jump in with a magnificent statement of Gloria sit Domino, Glory be to God on veiny one in its original allegro tempo.
Horns enter a measure later on a rising variant veiny one A, as the glory of theme rises heavenward at the height of this passage solo altos, boys choir and chorus to sing out the in play theme. Here this theme seems to be a natural outgrowth of veiny one, the words mortuis surrexit are sung to repeated falling minor seconds, the motive of “whoa” alto soloists and chorus one enter on a strong assertion of the second subject on the words Deo sit gloria, against them elongated rising phrase and Sopranos on the word pottery, as Sopranos rise to the top of their range the timpani pound out the light motive with great force, nearly anticipating the rhythmic fate motto played by the same instrument in the Ninth Symphony. The two measure chorale then returns in both choruses, after which an increase in tempo urges the music forward into the closing section. Our next excerpt will begin with the boy choirs entrance on Gloria.
Choruses single light motive in a typical strettle at an increasingly rapid pace, until soprano soloist enter stretching its rising interval from a seventh to a ninth and thereby anticipating the final measures of a symphony. Brass majestically in tone veiny two ushering in the soloists for the final Gloria, sung with tremendous force to the rising lyrical phrase from veiny two against shouts of Gloria on its opening dotted rhythmic figure from both choruses. The entrance of an internal brass band brings the enormous ensemble of singers and instrumentalists to full force on a powerful statement of lumen accende one, boy’s choir calls for the ascension of light to a melodic phrase that appropriately contains both the motives of longing and the Der Tag ist schön motive.
Choruses rise on a sequence of ascending scales beginning in the base, and wending their way upward sounding, as Mahler described them, like worlds circling through space. These whirling scales reach firm ground on a long sustained E flat major chord, on the concluding word poetry. While the internal band regenerates the lyrical theme from veiny two as a summons to glory, against repeating statements of the pectoral dotted rhythm in the onstage brass.
This monumental conclusion to an incredibly powerful and complex movement not only contains some of Mahler’s most thrilling music, but shows the composer at the height of his creative powers. He demonstrates his ability to integrate diverse musical material in an extremely complex contrapuntal setting and to conjoin music and text in a symbolic interrelationship that is representative of his creative philosophy. It is hard to imagine what more needs to be said after such a strong and definitive conclusion. Yet there is still something to be achieved before true and enduring creativity can be accomplished.
Part Two will provide that which is necessary for such an achievement.
By Lew Smoley