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Magnificent Quotation from His Beloved Second Symphony

Signed by Gustav Mahler

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Item: 22368
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MAHLER, GUSTAV. (1860-1911). Austrian composer and conductor. AMusQS. (“Gustav Mahler”). ½p. Large 8vo. New York, February 1, 1908. Five measures from the first theme of the third movement of his Symphony No. 2, known as The Resurrection. With a 2-measure AMusQS on the verso from the Nocturne in B-flat Major, Op. 16 by Polish pianist and composer IGNACE JAN PADEREWSKI. (1860-1941; “I.J. Paderewski”). Inscribed By Paderewski in German to American pianist, teacher, conductor, composer, and Liszt pupil CARL LACHMUND (1853-1928), “in friendly remembrance and with the warmest greetings from…”

Composed between 1888-1894, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, known as the Resurrection, was based on his symphonic poem Totenfeier (Funeral Rites) which he expanded after hearing, at Hans von Bülow’s funeral, a recitation of Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock’s poem “Die Auferstehung” (“The Resurrection”), which Mahler incorporated into his symphony. Premiered in Berlin in 1895, Symphony No. 2 was “a mammoth work… a watershed in his development as a composer,” (Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 2 in C Minor, “Resurrection” Facsimile, The Kaplan Foundation). The Second is considered among Mahler’s greatest works. Our quotation from the symphony’s third movement draws on Jewish folk music and immediately follows the opening tympani strokes.

Beginning in 1897, Mahler directed the Vienna Royal Opera, where his efforts were aimed at staging established masterpieces. But as a consequence of the official criticism of Mahler performing his own music and the ongoing campaign to discredit him led largely by an anti-Semitic press, he and the opera’s administration parted ways in December 1907. Mahler’s farewell concert featured the composer conducting his Second Symphony. By then Mahler had accepted a conducting position at New York’s Metropolitan Opera beginning with Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde on New Year’s Day 1908. Four days before penning our quotation, Mahler conducted Tristan und Isolde in Philadelphia’s Academy of Music.

Paderewski, a popular sensation immediately following his musical debut in Vienna in 1887, performed at numerous concert venues around the world. His composition, Fantasie Polonaise, written in 1893, incorporated Polish folk music whose theme English composer Edward Elgar incorporated into his own Polonia, composed for a 1916 Polish Relief Fund benefit. Paderewski became Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the newly independent country of Poland in 1919 and, later, represented his country at the League of Nations. Paderewski’s quotation is elegantly written across two musical staves and marked “Andantino quasi Allegretto.”

From the autograph album of Carl Lachmund, founder of the Lachmund Conservatory in New York. His whose diaries chronicle his tutelage under the watchful eye of Franz Liszt. Written on a 7”x 8” cream-colored album page. In exceptionally fine condition and very rare; only the second quotation from this work we have ever seen offered for sale in nearly 50 years.

Magnificent Quotation from His Beloved Second Symphony

Signed by Gustav Mahler


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