A Self Portrait


Mahler's Jewish heritage gave him both specific musical sources and an ear for the outsider's voice.
"always an intruder, never welcomed...."
VIDEO:MTT on Mahler's Rondo burleske
  • The Rondo burleske in the Ninth Symphony can be heard as Mahler's way of communicating to his critics. He seems to be saying: "you see, I know what you think of me."

VIDEO:MTT on Mahler's Rondo burleske
  • In this movement, the humorous yet disturbing passages are interrupted by a beauitiful viola solo, Mahler's ultimate plea for acceptance from the outside world.

Mahler's Methods

The Voice of Loneliness
  • Later in his life, like Berlioz and Brahms before him, Mahler turned to the sombre-hued viola for his most personal confessions. The violas open the Tenth Symphony with fifteen gentle bars that hint at a possible G major harmony; but as they progress, they seem to repudiate the idea of resolving into in any key at all. At the last possible moment the strings envelop them with a warm F-sharp major embrace.

Related Examples