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Rotational Form,Teleological Genesis, and Fantasy-Projection in the Slow Movement of Mahler's Sixth Symphony

Rotational Form,Teleological Genesis, and Fantasy-Projection in the Slow Movement of Mahler's... WARREN DARCY Mahler’s Sixth Symphon Rotational Form, Teleological Genesis, and Fantasy-Projection in the Slow Movement of Mahler’s Sixth Symphony WARREN DARCY Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 6 in A Minor is often considered one of his most personal utterances, a sort of terrifying Sinfonia Domestica in which the composer foretold his own downfall at the hands of an implacable fate.1 This impression is reinforced by the work’s obvious “negative dialogue” with the victory-through-struggle paradigm so important to the nineteenth-century symphony. At its most basic level, this narrative trajectory entails the “redemption”—the drive toward a metaphysical Erlösung, to use a term with appropriately Wagnerian resonances—of an ini- tially troubled beginning out of the minor mode into the major at the end. This negative-topositive trajectory may encompass a single movement, as in the nale of Mahler’s First Symphony, or it may span an entire multimovement work, as it does in his Second and A version of this paper was rst presented in December 1998 at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Music Theory in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It was subsequently read at a graduate colloquium at Yale University (February 2001), a symposium on musical scholarship at the University of http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png 19th-Century Music University of California Press

Rotational Form,Teleological Genesis, and Fantasy-Projection in the Slow Movement of Mahler's Sixth Symphony

19th-Century Music , Volume 25 (1) – Jul 1, 2001

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Publisher
University of California Press
Copyright
Copyright © by the University of California Press
Subject
Research Article
ISSN
0148-2076
eISSN
1533-8606
DOI
10.1525/ncm.2001.25.1.49
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

WARREN DARCY Mahler’s Sixth Symphon Rotational Form, Teleological Genesis, and Fantasy-Projection in the Slow Movement of Mahler’s Sixth Symphony WARREN DARCY Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 6 in A Minor is often considered one of his most personal utterances, a sort of terrifying Sinfonia Domestica in which the composer foretold his own downfall at the hands of an implacable fate.1 This impression is reinforced by the work’s obvious “negative dialogue” with the victory-through-struggle paradigm so important to the nineteenth-century symphony. At its most basic level, this narrative trajectory entails the “redemption”—the drive toward a metaphysical Erlösung, to use a term with appropriately Wagnerian resonances—of an ini- tially troubled beginning out of the minor mode into the major at the end. This negative-topositive trajectory may encompass a single movement, as in the nale of Mahler’s First Symphony, or it may span an entire multimovement work, as it does in his Second and A version of this paper was rst presented in December 1998 at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Music Theory in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It was subsequently read at a graduate colloquium at Yale University (February 2001), a symposium on musical scholarship at the University of

Journal

19th-Century MusicUniversity of California Press

Published: Jul 1, 2001

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