Explore the Score: Dvorak- Symphony no. 8

  Dvorak 8 was the first score I ever went out and bought and subsequently tried to analyze. We had played the work in my youth orchestra under the guidance of James Smith, a truly great musician and orchestral trainer. I’d always been interested in conducting, but the transformation James had made in the orchestra […]

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Explore the Score- Mahler Symphony no. 2, mvt I

Mahler’s Second Symphony is in five movements and was completed in 1894, but the first of those was composed and published several years earlier in 1888 (at the same time as the First Symphony) as a tone poem called “Totenfeier” or “Funeral Rites.” It wasn’t until 1893, after he had finished the First Symphony, that […]

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Explore the Score: Mahler 2, Movement II- Relief, Repose and Reflection

After the highly-charged, dramatic and ultimately tragic arc of the first movement, it is natural that one would need some time to recover. After all, Mahler waited five years after completing Totenfeier before continuing on to the second movement. As it turns out, Mahler anticipated the audience’s exhaustion and specified that the conductor should wait […]

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Explore the Score: Mahler 2, Movement V- Auferstehen Part II

The great scene of the end of the world plays out as a march, mostly in F minor. Four flats in the key signature, far from the purity of the C major peroration that preceded it. The final scream Mahler describes is a masterstroke- we’ve been expecting him to return to C major throughout the […]

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