Farewell: Church


Music shaped by the sacred tradition reflects Mahler's ongoing search for spiritual transcendence through art.
"O believe, my heart, O believe"
VIDEO:MTT on the turn in Mahler's Ninth Symphony
  • 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.

Mahler's Methods

VIDEO:SFS Principal Oboe Bill Bennett
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).

Related Examples
VIDEO:MTT on the "turn" in Mahler's music
Turning Points

Play the extended video on the right to explore Mahler’s highly idiosyncratic use of the turn in the Ninth Symphony.

Related Examples