The subtitle of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 2 in C minor, "Resurrection" (Auferstehung), may bring associations with Easter, but it was not religious inspirations that gave rise to the creation of the work. The theme of the symphony was born in the artist's thoughts after hearing the anthem "Die Auferstehung" by Friedrich Gottlob Klopstock, during the funeral ceremonies of the friend and great conductor Hans von Bülow. Mahler placed excerpts from this text in the final movement of the symphony. The program, prepared several times by the composer, refers to personal reflections of the musician about life after death.
Originally, Mahler planned to write a one-movement symphonic poem, "Totenfeier", which was created in 1888 before the death of Bülow, and which became the first movement of the symphony. After this monumental first movement, the second link shocks with its simplicity - it was captured in the dance form of the classicist minuet - sometimes bringing associations with Beethoven. In the third movement, Scherzo, the composer used the theme of one of the songs ("Des Antonius von Padua Fischpredigt") from the series "Des Knaben Wunderhorn", on which he was working at that time. In the fourth movement he drew from the poem "Urlicht", from the collection he was working on in parallel to Symphony No. 2 "Des Knaben Wunderhorn", and entrusted it to an alto solo. This movement, the shortest of all five, is distinguished by its exceptional simplicity and calmness, almost of a pastoral nature, emphasized by solo violins and clarinet melodies and a harp accompaniment to the singing. The last and the most extensive movement is based on the poem by Klopstock, which inspired Mahler very much, and finally confronts the listener with the question "Is there life after death?", asked in the first link. It begins with a violent explosion, to continue to the quietest levels of the piano, to transform into a march, and finally convey the message in the choral part.
Symphony HallFilharmonia im. Mieczysława Karłowicza w Szczecinie
ul. Małopolska 48