The Last Scherzo


The many folk traditions Mahler encountered gave him a rich source of songs, dances, and legends.
“The Bohemian music of my childhood home has found its way into many of my compositions.”
VIDEO:MTT on the Ländler
  • Mahler's fondness for the rustic Austrian waltz, the Ländler, persists in the Scherzo of his last full symphony. It bgins with the most primitive formulas, based on a group of rising or falling notes in C major.

  • As the dance unfolds, it becomes edgy, then frantic, pushing a simple folk dance into a rainbow of harmonic and melodic gestures that inhabit new psychological territory.