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Title: The development of Mahler's symphonic technique with special reference to the compositions of the period 1899 to 1905
Author: Williamson, John G.
ISNI:       0000 0001 2465 3522
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1975
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By his historical position, Gustav Mahler has acquired an aura which threatens to obscure his music. Born into an era which questioned the norms of musical expression, his importance for composers both traditional and progressive has overshadowed his real achievement, the preservation of the symphony in the first decade of the century when many came to regard it as an outworn genre. The significance of this achievement was not fully realised until the 1960's when Adorno's writings created a synthesis from the composer's interest in the folk-like, his position with regards to the Austrian tradition, his literary attitudes, and such concepts as Erwin Stein's Sachlichkeit. His study attempted a comprehensive view; this thesis concentrates on the period of the Fifth and Sixth Symphonies, Mahler's first maturity. Mahler's orchestral technique arises from a fusion of symphony and opera orchestras effected in Das klagende Lied. Procedures related to Bruckner and Schubert co-exist with direct echoes of Lohengrin and Der Ring des Nibelungen. While much of Das klagende Lied is characteristic in its sound sources, these are as yet traditional in their harmonic and thematic deployment; this is only marginally less true of First and Second Symphonies. The extensive use of brass declamation in the Third Symphony's first movement and the density of polyphony in the march sections are indicative of new developments though traditional harmonic patterns are still in control.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available