Mahler Symphony No. 2 (Resurrection) – Bass Part
Edited by Paul Ellison
Title: Symphony No. 2
Composer: Gustav Mahler
Edited By: Paul Ellison
The bass part for Mahler's Symphony No. 2 in C minor (nicknamed the Resurrection Symphony) has been edited by Paul Ellison, in-demand double bassist, professor, presenter, and former Houston Symphony Orchestra principal bassist of 23 years. Ellison's bowings, fingerings and other editorial markings have been added throughout the score.
One of Gustav Mahler's most popular and successful compositions during his lifetime, Symphony No. 2 is written for orchestra, mixed choir, two soloists (soprano and contralto), organ, and an offstage ensemble of brass and percussion. It is comprised of five movements, beginning with a funeral march like movement in modified sonata form that passes through a number of different moods. The second movement is a delicate Ländler, a folk dance in 3/4 time, with two contrasting sections of slightly darker music. This is followed by a scherzo opening with two strong, short timpani strokes. The fourth movement is an orchestral song featuring an alto, which serves as an introduction to the Finale. The 30+ minute finale is divided into two large parts. The first part is an instrumental and episodic section containing a wide variety of moods, tempi, and modulations. The second section is marked by the entry of the chorus and is primarily organized by the text.
Mahler's Second Symphony is nicknamed the Resurrection Symphony because it was his first major work that established his lifelong view of the beauty of afterlife and resurrection. The question "Is there life after death?" is posited from the very first movement, with subsequent movements exploring various themes such as remembrance of happy times, meaning and meaningless, longing of relief from worldly woes, and transcendence and everlasting renewal. The Resurrection Symphony is an epic work of nearly 90 minutes.
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