Dissertation Index

Author: Burns, Alexandra

Title: \'Sterben werd\' ich, um zu leben!\': The Eschatological Questions in Gustav Mahler\'s Second Symphony

Institution: The University of Sheffield

Begun: September 2016

Completed: September 2017


This thesis examines the themes of death, mourning and eschatology in Gustav Mahler\'s Second Symphony. Mahler clearly used eschatology as a vehicle for trying to unify humanity within this work, and to do this he used a range of different literary and artistic inspirations. This study delves into these motivations and reveals how the symphony is not necessarily a step-by-step guide of the sequences leading up to the Last Judgement. Instead, this research shows the Second Symphony as a model for eulogising and remembering those who have passed on. Each movement emphasises this idea and reveals ways that someone\'s memory can be preserved. Further to this, religion is discussed at length at the role that it plays within the work.

This research has concluded that the God that is often mentioned in the texts may be pantheistic, due to its non-judgemental attitude within the Finale. A combination of literary, psychological and musical analysis has been conducted to bring together the overriding themes of death, resurrection and remembrance. This large symphonic work has been skillfully built on eschatological values that feed into the overriding programme for the symphony. This thesis is addressing a large gap in Mahler studies which is currently under-researched.

Keywords: Gustav Mahler, religion, Romanticism, psychology,


List of Figures and Tables - I

List of Musical Examples - II-VI

Acknowledgements - VII

Introduction - 1-3

Chapter 1 \"Searching for the Redeeming World: The Second Symphony\" - 5-10

- Genesis and Context - 5

Chapter 2 - \"A Mixture of Realism and Fantasy: An Eschatological Programme\" - 11-20

- The Second Symphony Programme - 11

Chapter 3 - \"Romantic Self-Destruction: Movement 1 Todtenfeier - 21-32

- The Programme for \'Todtenfeier\' - 21-26
- The First Movement \'Todtenfeier\' - 26-32

Chapter 4 - \"An Intermezzi to Life: Movements 2, 3 and 4 - 33-50

- The Second Movement \'Andante\' - 33-36
- The Third Movement \'Scherzo\' - 37-45
- The Fourth Movement \'Urlicht\' - 46-50

Chapter 5 - \"Reaching the Heavenly Host: Movement 5\" - 51-67

- Fifth Movement Programme - 51-54
- The Fifth Movement Part I - 55-62
- The Fifth Movement Part II - 62-67

Conclusion - 69-71

Bibliography - 73-77

Appendices - 78-110


T: 07881528870
E: alexandraburns17@gmail.com

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