Mahler, Symphony No. 3 in D minor (1896)

Course Description
Mahler's epic Third Symphony explores the stages of evolution and ends with an affirmation of the power of nature and cosmic love. This class will deconstruct the complex metaphors presented in the symphony and examine Mahler's view of nature and life's determination to renew itself.

Claudio Abbado conducting the Lucerne Festival Orchestra

  • First Movement – 0:00
  • Second Movement – begins at 33:00
  • Third Movement – begins at 42:25
  • Fourth Movement – begins at 58:35
  • Fifth Movement – begins at 1:08:45
  • Sixth Movement – begins at 1:12:33
General Information
  • At one hour and forty minutes, Mahler’s Third ranks as the fourth longest symphony ever composed and the longest in the standard classical repertoire.
  • Mahler’s Third was well-received when it was first performed in 1902 at Krefeld, Germany. Mahler conducted the symphony before a packed house, receiving an enthusiastic response from the audience and positive reviews from critics.
  • Mahler’s Third is about the power of nature and the never-ending renewal of life.
  • Mahler’s Third contains six movements that provide an evolutionary progression from the creation of the universe to divine consciousness. After the “big bang” of the first movement, the last five movements move progressively through higher states of consciousness, a progression that can be seen in the titles for each movement: (1) "Pan Awakes: Summer Marches In" (2) "What the Flowers in the Meadow Tell Me" (3) "What the Animals in the Forest Tell Me" (4) "What Mankind Tells Me" (5) "What the Angels Tell Me" (6) "What Love Tells Me"
Online Articles
Recommended Books
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Recommended Box Set of Mahler's Symphonies

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