The first movement of Mahler's Ninth symphony establishes a mood of searching. Only later do we get a hint of what is to follow, as just before the climax of the movement Mahler employs a short turning motive that hearkens back to his earliest compositions. It is orchestrated for brass and strings to heighten the effect.
Music shaped by the sacred tradition reflects Mahler's ongoing search for spiritual transcendence through art.
"O believe, my heart, O believe"
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A Farewell Turn
In Mahler’s later music, the turn, once a simple item of musical punctuation, comes to occupy a place of particular emotional significance. Here it is at the beginning of the last movement of The Song of the Earth (Der Abschied).