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Main heading: The Music of Gustav Mahler: A Catalogue of Manuscript and Printed Sources [rule] Paul Banks





Instrumental Works


Vocal Works


Unfinished Works


Lost and Spurious Works






Mahler's Publishers




Using the Catalogue


Conventions & Abbreviations




Index of Works


Site Map






CPH Home Page


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Index to this page


















Printed editions


Performance History








Additional Literary Sources


Related works


Quotations and self-borrowings


Movement order


Off-stage brass


Critical Edition


Supplementary material






Symphony No. 2 in C minor



 Zweite Symphonie, C moll


 1888, 1893–4; revised 1895–1910



1. Allegro maestoso. Mit durchaus ernstem und feierlichem Ausdruck
[At end:] Hier folgt eine Pause von mindestens 5 Minuten


2. Andante moderato. Sehr gemächlich. Nie eilen.


3. In ruhig fliessender Bewegung
[At end:] Folgt ohne jede Unterbrechung der 4. Satz


4. „Urlicht” (aus „Des Knaben Wunderhorn”) Sehr feierlich aber schlicht (Choralmässig)
[At end:] Folgt ohne jede Unterbrechung der 5. Satz


5. Im Tempo des Scherzo[.] Wild herausfahrend


 Movement 4: from Des Knaben WunderhornMovement 5: Klopstock: Die Auferstehung


 January 1896 |  March 1896 | Dresden 1901



Fl 1–2 (= picc 3–4), fl 3–4 (= picc 1–2 ), ob 1–2, ob 3–4 (= ca 1–2), cl 1–3 in A/Ba symbol: a flat sign/C (3 = bcl in Ba symbol: a flat sign), cl in Ea symbol: a flat sign 1–2 (both doubled if possible in ff; 2 = cl 4), bsn 1–4  (3, 4 variously = cbsn)

Hn 1–6 in F  (+ hn 7–10 in 5th movement), tpt 1–6 in F (the score indicates 5, 6 can double as two of the off-stage tpt, but see the notes below), trb 1–4, cbtuba

Timp 1–6 (two players; in 5th movement a 3rd player also uses 2 drums of 2nd timpanist), bd, cymb, tam-tams 1–2 (high, low), tr, sd (doubled if possible), glock, 2 bells (of low, unpitched sound), rute (five percussionists)

Harps 1–2 (doubled if possible), strings (at least some of the double-basses must have C)

Off-stage (5th movement only): hn 1–4 in F (= hn 7–10 in the orchestra), tpt 1–4 in F/C (the score indicates that two may be played by tpt 5, 6 from orchestra, but see notes below); 1 timp, bd + cymb, tr

Organ (5th movement only)

Soprano solo (5th movement only), contralto solo (4th and 5th movements)

Chorus (5th movement only)



80 minutes



Autographs: sketches (1888; 1893–4)

Copyist's Manuscripts: full scores (?1894–5; 1895)

Autographs: orchestral drafts (1888; 1893)

Copyist's Manuscripts: orchestral parts (1894–5)

Autographs: full scores (1888; 1894; 1895)

Arrangement: piano duet (?1898)

Autographs: orchestral part (1895)

Arrangement: piano solo (undated)

Autographs: album leaves (1897; ?1899)


Printed Editions (1895–1920)


Full scores (1897; 1899; 1913)

Arrangements: vocal score (Urlicht) (1895; 1899; 1911)

Study scores (1906)

Arrangements: 2 pianos, 4 hands (1896; 1914)

Orchestral parts (?1899; ?1903; 1912/17)

Arrangements: piano duet (1899; 1911)

Chorus parts (1899; 1911/12)

Arrangements: 2 pianos, 8 hands (1914)
Performance history

Performances (1895–1911)


Selected Historic Recordings (1925–1971)


1888, January

Work on the first movement (see S1.3)

1888, January–April

Themes for the second movement sketched (see S2.1)


Orchestral draft (OD1) of first movement completed


Autograph full score of first movement completed (AF1)

1889.10.01Press reports announcing the forthcoming première of the First Symphony refer to another such work, Todtenfeier, which will be performed in Munich during the winter season (ZRGMH, 208, note 115)


Mahler plays the first movement to Hans von Bülow (GMB 97; GMSL, 139)


Autograph piano and voice version of Des Antonius von Padua Fischpredigt completed


Orchestral draft of the third movement completed (OD3)


Autograph full score of Urlicht completed


Orchestral draft of the second movement completed (OD2)


Autograph orchestral version of Des Antonius von Padua Fischpredigt completed


Death of Hans von Bülow in Cairo


Funeral service in Hamburg for Hans von Bülow: Mahler hears Klopstock's Die Auferstehen


New autograph full score of the first movement completed (later part of AF2)


A short score (lost) of the finale probably completed by this date


A (lost) orchestral draft of the finale completed by this date


Autograph full score of the Second Symphony completed (AF2)

1894, July–December

Copyist's full score of the first three movements (1, 3, 2) prepared (ACF1)


Manuscript parts for the first three movements completed by this date ([CO])


Mahler holds a run-through of the first three movements in Hamburg


First performance of the first three movements (1, 2, 3) in Berlin, conducted by Mahler

1895, March–October

Copyist's full score of the complete (?) Symphony prepared (ACF2)


First batch of chorus parts ([CCh]) for the Symphony were ready by this date


First complete performance of the Symphony, conducted by Mahler in Berlin

1895, December

First edition of the vocal score of Urlicht published (PV1)

1896, January

Hermann Behn's two-piano arrangement of the Symphony published

1897, February

First edition of the full score published (PF1)

1899 [?]

Second issue (Titelauflage) of the full score and the scecond edition of the vocal score of Urlicht published

First edition of the orchestral and vocal parts prepared

1899, January

First edition of the piano duet arrangement published

1903 [?]

Second edition of the orchestral and chorus parts published


Performance at the Tonkünstlerfest des Allgemeinen Deutschen Musikvereins in Basel, conducted by Mahler

1906, April

First edition of the study score published (PS1)


Performance at New York, conducted by Mahler


The last performance of the work conducted by Mahler, in Paris

1911, March

Third edition of Urlicht published

1911, October

Second edition of the piano duet arrangement published

1913, March

Second edition of the full score published

1914, April

Only edition of the arrangement for 2 pianos, 8 hands published

1914, December

Second edition of the two-piano arrangement published

Fourth edition of Urlicht published



Additional Literary Sources and Programmatic References

a) The first movement clearly reflects the impact of Adam Mickiewicz's Dziady, in Sigfried Lipiner's translation as Todtenfeier (Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1887): see SHMMT, 158–260 for an extended and insightful account.

b) The first edition of the vocal score of Urlicht prints an additional text from Clemens Brentano's Gockel, Hinkel, Gackeleia beneath bb. 3–13 of the accompaniment:

Stern und Blume!

Geist und Kleid!

Lieb' und Leid!

Zeit! Ewigkeit!

Many years later Anna Mahler told Henry-Louis de La Grange that Mahler delighted in reading this story to his eldest daughter, Maria (Putzi) (HLG3, 690).

The edition was almost certainly based on the lost autograph of the voice and piano version of the original solo song, prepared before Mahler decided to incorporate it into the Symphony. Thus the inclusion of the unset text probably relates more to the creative history of the song, than the symphonic movement.

c) The autograph score of the last movement (AF2) contains two programmatic headings. Der Rufer in der Wüste on fol. 81v relates to the horn solo in b. 43ff. and Der grosse Apell on fol. 105r to the passage starting at b. 449. These headings were retained in the early printed editions – PF1, PF1a, PF2, PT2p4 and PTp4 – and were printed in the movement description in the programme of the important performance, under Mahler at Basel in June 1903; they were omitted from the first edition of the study score (PS) and all later printings of it and the full score.

Related Works

a) The third movement incorporates an orchestral transcription of Mahler's Des Antonius von Padua Fischpredigt (Lieder aus Des Knaben Wunderhorn, No. 6).

b)  The fourth movement, Urlicht, was originally composed as an independent song and was later included as No. 12 in the published piano and voice and orchestral sets of the Lieder aus Des Knaben Wunderhorn. The orchestral song version is scored for a smaller ensemble than that used in the Symphony.

Quotations and Self-Borrowings

a) The first movement (bb. 270ff.) and the finale (bb. 62ff.) quote the opening of the Dies irae plainchant.

b) The head-motive of the E major theme in the third movement, bb. 257–60 is an allusion to the opening theme of the scherzo in Hans Rott's Symphony in E major.

c) The closing bars of the third movement, bb. 577–81, quote the end of 'Das ist ein Flöten und Geigen' from Schumann's Dichterliebe, bb. 80–4.

Movement order and grouping

A number of the manuscript sources suggest that Mahler changed his mind about the order of the inner movements: the orchestral draft of the Scherzo (OD3; 16 July 1893) is numbered '2' and that of the Andante (OD2; 30 July 1893) is numbered '4'. Assuming that Urlicht was the only other planned inner movement in the summer of 1893 and was therefore notionally no. 3, it is striking that the numbering sequence corresponds to the order in which the draft full scores of the three movements were completed (see the chronology above).

In the complete autograph full score (AF2; completed on 18 December 1894) only Urlicht is numbered in ink: '4'. The remaining movements are all numbered in blue crayon (certainly later additions) and the fascicle structure is such that the Andante and Scherzo could have been in reverse order when the manuscript was originally prepared, and placed in their present sequence only at a later date; the fascicles were in the final order when the pencil foliation was supplied. In the partial manuscript copy prepared in 1894 (ACF1), the scherzo is placed second, and the Andante third, but both the handbill for the partial première in March 1895 and the reviews (see HLG1, 319–21) make it clear that the movements were played in the now familiar sequence.

All published editions and issues of the full score agree in the their instructions placed at the ends of three of the movements: a five-minute pause after the first movement, and the last three movements to be played without breaks. This suggests movement groupings that are not wholly congruent with those implied by the programmes: the January 1896 programme associates the first three movements, but does not explicitly link the fourth and fifth together; the March 1896 programme links the second and third movements together (as intermezzi) and tacitly links the fourth and fifth movements. The layout and text of the 1901 programme is explicit in its tripartite division with Urlicht being part of the central group of three intermezzi and this finds an echo in a letter from Mahler to Julius Buths (25 March 1903 ) in connection with a forthcoming performance of the work in Düsseldorf (GMB, 315–6; GMSL, 269):

Demnach wäre also die Hauptpause im Konzert zwischen 4. und 5. Satz. Ich staune über das Feingefühl, mit dem Sie (im Gegensatz zu meiner eigenen Angabe) den naturgemäßen Einschnitt im Werke erkannt haben. Ich bin schon lange dieser Ansicht, in welcher mich auch alle Aufführungen, die ich bisher geleitet, immer wieder aufs neue bestärkt haben.

Well then, this would mean that the main interval in the concert would be between the fourth and fifth movements. I marvel at the sensitive intuition with which you (in contrast with my own arrangement) have recognized the natural break in the work. I have long tended to this view, and all the performances I have hitherto conducted have reinforced the same impression.

Trotzdem müßte allerdings auch nach dem 1. Satze eine ausgiebige Sammlungspause eintreten, weil der 2. Satz nicht als Gegensatz, sondern als bloße Diskrepanz nach dem 1. wirkt. Es ist dies meine Schuld und nicht mangelndes Verständnis des Zuhörers. Vielleicht haben Sie dies schon empfunden, wenn Sie die beiden Sätze hintereinander probiert haben. – Das Andante ist als eine Art Intermezzo komponiert (wie ein Nachklang längst vergangener Tage aus dem Leben desjenigen, den wir im 1. Satz zu Grabe getragen – „da ihm noch die Sonne gelacht" –).

Still, there really ought also to be a lengthy pause for recollection after the first movement, because the second movement does not have the effect of a contrast, but simply of a discrepancy after the first. This is my fault, not inadequate appreciation on the listener's part. Perhaps you have already felt this after rehearsing the two movements consecutively.–The andante was composed as a kind of intermezzo (as the echo of long past days in the life of the man borne to his grave in the first movement ‘when the sun still smiled on him’–).

Während dem 1., 3., 4. und 5. Satz thematisch und stim-mungsinhaltlich zusammenhängen, steht das 2. Stück für sich selbst da und unterbricht in gewissem Sinn den strengen, herben Gang der Ereignisse. Vielleicht ist dies eine Schwäche der Disposition, deren Absicht Ihnen aber durch obige Andeutung gewiß klar geworden ist.

While the first, third, fourth and fifth movements are related in theme and mood, the second stands alone, in a certain sense interrupting the strict, austere sequence of events. Perhaps this is a weakness in the conception of the work, but you will certainly see my intention from the above indication.

Ganz konsequent ist es, den Anfang des 5. Satzes als Anknüpfung an den ersten zu deuten, und durch die große Pause vor demselben wird dies auch dem Zuhörer deutlich werden. –

It is quite logical to interpret the beginning of the fifth movement as a development from the first, and the long pause before the fifth will make the listener aware of this too.–

In view of these comments it is perhaps worth noting that the layout of the hand bill for Mahler's last performance of the work, in Paris in 1910, also seems to associate Urlicht with the scherzo rather than the finale. Nevertheless Mahler made no changes to his instructions in either the study score (1906) or the printer's copy (APFpr) for the third edition of the full score (1908–9).

Off-stage Brass

The peregrinations of the 'off-stage' brass instruments in the finale are complex, and, in the case of the trumpets, not always clarified in the score. The four horns are first heard 'off-stage' in b. 83ff., before making their way on-stage from b. 93, in readiness for b. 202ff. where they take parts 7–10 (their inclusion at this point was first adumbrated in an autograph revision to ACF2). They resume their off-stage position from b. 252 in readiness for bb. 447–71, during which the verbal instructions imply yet more movement: at the outset all are 'in die Ferne' and 'Links aufgestellt',  but in b. 461 they should be 'sehr entfernt'. After bar 471 they return to their positions in the main orchestra, again taking parts 7–10.

There is some uncertainty about exactly how many trumpets the work requires in the finale. The rubric at the start of the movement lists six on-stage trumpets in F and four off-stage trumpets in F (but see below) of which two parts may be played by on-stage trumpets 5–6, and an autograph addition in ACF2 instructs them to move off-stage at b. 323 to double the offstage parts (one of which is for trumpet(s) in C) in bb. 343–380. However he seems not to have grappled with the problem that  in terms of stage management it would be difficult for  trumpets 5 and 6 to be doubling the offstage parts in b. 380 and playing on-stage in bar 385. The first edition of the printed parts  (PO1) -  whether intentionally or in error – omits bb. 343–380 from the parts for tpt 5 and 6 (though a pencil annotation at fig. 21 in APO tpt 6 reads 'go to other part' which implies they may well have moved off-stage in Mahler's 1908 performance in New York; one wonders how this move might have been managed).

A further contradiction emerges later in the movement. Despite the fact there must be a minimum of two trumpets placed permanently off-stage, after b. 417 in the printed scores Mahler needlessly instructs that onstage trumpets 3 & 4, as well as 5 & 6 take up places off-stage in preparation for the four-part off-stage trumpet writing of bb. 452–71 (see ACF2 for a summary of the relevant annotations to that score). 

This lack of clarity over numbers seems to stem from a desire to minimise the number of additional trumpets required, but, if so, this is rather undermined by the demand that from bar 689 the six on-stage parts should be 'mit Verstarkung'. This apparently implies at least twelve on-stage trumpets at this point. The printed part set resolves these ambiguities: the parts for on-stage trumpets 3–6 do not require the players to move, or to play bb. 452–71 (and there are no annotations in APO to suggest Mahler's practice departed from the letter of the parts), as the whole passage is given to the four off-stage trumpets who then move on-stage to provide the required doubling in bb. 689ff., with the six-part trumpet writing of the passage skilfully redistributed amongst the four doubling instruments.

Critical Edition

SWIIa: Gustav Mahler, Symphonie Nr. 2, Sämtliche Werke, Kritische Gesamtausgabe, Band II, ed. Erwin Ratz (Vienna: Universal Edition, 19??)

Supplementary Material

 Mahler’s “Totenfeier”: a symphonic poem? – A Postscript

From sketches to autograph full score – Outline Diagram

From autograph full score to ACF1 Provisional Stemma

Production of printed scores and parts – Provisional Stemma

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© 2007 Paul Banks  |  This page was lasted edited on 19 November 2009