Pianist, organist, composer, arranger
Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 7 for Piano Solo
Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) composed his 7th Symphony in 1904-5 while he was music director at the Vienna State Opera. It was written at Mahler's composing hut in Maiernigg near the Wörthersee, and he conducted the premiere in 1908 in Prague. The Symphony is notable for its inner movements that evoke the night: two subdued slow movements separated by a biting and sarcastic waltz. These contrast strongly with the opening movement (notable for its frequent use of ascending or descending fourths) and a consistently joyous Finale. There is no Classical key scheme for the Symphony, instead each movement inhabits its own tonal world. With its unorthodox structure and unexpected dissonant harmony, the work was not an initial success. However, one early admirer of the Symphony was the composer Arnold Schoenberg, who became a staunch admirer of Mahler's music after hearing a performance in Vienna. This arrangement for piano solo is in a full, Romantic style, whilst maintaining the beauty and delicacy of the score in a clear, playable arrangement.
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