Mahler - Symphony No. 5 (Dudamel)

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Gustav Mahler
Symphony No 5 in C-sharp minor

Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra
Gustavo Dudamel

Paris, January 2015


The Symphony No. 5 by Gustav Mahler was composed in 1901 and 1902, mostly during the summer months at Mahler's cottage at Maiernigg. Among its most distinctive features are the trumpet solo that opens the work with the same rhythmic motive as used in the opening of Beethoven's 5th symphony and the frequently performed Adagietto.

The musical canvas and emotional scope of the work, which lasts over an hour, are huge. The symphony is sometimes described as being in the key of C? minor since the first movement is in this key (the finale, however, is in D major). Mahler objected to the label: "From the order of the movements (where the usual first movement now comes second) it is difficult to speak of a key for the 'whole Symphony', and to avoid misunderstandings the key should best be omitted."

The work is in five movements, though Mahler grouped the movements into bigger parts:

Part I
I: Trauermarsch (Funeral March). In gemessenem Schritt. Streng. Wie ein Kondukt (At a measured pace. Strict. Like a funeral procession.) (C-sharp minor)
II: Stürmisch bewegt, mit größter Vehemenz (Moving stormily, with the greatest vehemence) (A minor)

Part II
III: Scherzo. Kräftig, nicht zu schnell (Not too fast, strong) (D major)

Part III
IV: Adagietto. Sehr langsam (Very slow) (F major)
V: Rondo-Finale. Allegro – Allegro giocoso. Frisch (Fresh) (D major)


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