Movement 2: Scherzo. Schnelle Viertel
522 bars drafted in orchestral and short score.
The second movement, the first of two brilliant Scherzo movements, consists of two main ideas, the first of which is notated in consistently changing metres, which would have proved a challenge to Mahler's conducting technique had he lived to perform the symphony. This alternates with a joyful and typically Mahlerian Ländler.
It is almost certainly this movement Paul Stefan (1879-1943) had in mind when he described the symphony as containing "gaiety, even exuberance" (Cooke's translation).