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Title: The treatment of texts in Mahler’s symphonies
Author: Farrand, John Stephen
ISNI:       0000 0001 3457 836X
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2007
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In almost half of the symphonies by Gustav Mahler, there are movements which are based on settings of texts.  The texts are drawn from many sources, and range from folk poetry, as in Des Knaben Wunderhorn, to excerpts from German literature, such as a Spiritual Ode by Klopstock, and the final scene from Goethe’s Faust.  Other sources from which Mahler selected texts include the mediaeval Latin hymn Veni Creator Spiritus, and German adaptations of Chinese poems, as found in the early nineteenth-century publication Die Chinesische Flöte. In some of his textual movements, Mahler employs only solo voices, whereas in others he calls for both solo voices and a large chorus of singers.  Moreover, the texts vary considerably in length from a dozen lines to an entire scene. Although drawn from different sources and selected to suit Mahler’s musical needs at various stages of his creative development, the texts, taken as a whole, have a common theme reflecting Mahler’s concern about the brevity and frailty of human life and the hope of eternal salvation. Movements with texts occur in Mahler’s Second, Third and Fourth Symphonies, but his Eighth Symphony is fully choral from beginning to end.  The six poems which make up Das Lied von der Erde are set for tenor and contralto soloists. The aim of this thesis is to consider in some detail Mahler’s settings of these texts to assess how and in what ways the structure of each movement is determined by the chosen text.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available