9. Mahler

Mahler turned the proposed but rejected seventh movement of his third symphony – a setting of Das himmlische Leben [Heavenly Life] from Arnim and Brentano’s folk-poetry collection, Des Knaben Wunderhorn – into the final movement of his fourth, and built much of that fourth symphony around it. The work’s ‘narrative’ is simple: moving from earthly joys through a dance with ‘friend death’ playing the fiddle (scherzo), to a slow movement which mixes, in equal measure peace and grief; arriving, finally, at the Wunderhorn song  and a child’s vision of heaven (good food first and then music – perfection!).

Gustav Mahler:
Symphony No. 4 in G

Bedächtig, nicht eilen 0:03
In gemächlicher Bewegung, ohne Hast 16:36
Ruhevoll, poco adagio 26:18
Sehr behaglich 47:35

Movement IV: text and translation


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