1 page, large folio (c.36 x 27.3cm), 28-stave paper ("Joh. Aug. Bohme, Hamburg no.2"), ink-blots and stains from the composer, [Hamburg, summer 1894], light overall browning, creases and tears to leading margin (repaired on verso)
Mahler begins the present manuscript with a very stormy and chromatic passage, ultimately not used, but perhaps an early conception of that found from Rehearsal Number 25. This ends with a descent to C sharp, directly into the tympani roll at that pitch (in the final version this is replaced with a bass drum). The 'Last Trump' begins rather similarly to the final version, here scored for three trumpets, horns and tympani; however, the flute and piccolo parts were apparently only composed later. The evocative trumpet fanfares are written at sounding pitch (rather than in F as in the score), marked "schnell" but without accidentals, and without any indication that they are off-stage, except at the end where they are marked "ganz entfernt". Whereas in the final version, Mahler then takes up the bird calls in the flute and piccolo, here he continues immediately with the further horn calls and fanfare motifs in the first trumpet. The manuscript closes with a double bar marked "verklingend", indicating that this is the end of the 'Last Trump', to be followed immediately by the "Resurrection" Chorale.
According to Mahler's programme for the Second Symphony, as recorded by Natalie Bauer-Lechner, "the first movement depicts the titanic struggles of a mighty being still caught in the toils of this world...and his death" (it was originally called 'Todtenfeier'). "While the first three movements are narrative in character, in the last movement everything is immediate action...[culminating in] the resolution of the terrible problem of life--redemption. At first, we see it in the form created by faith and the Church…It is the day of the Last Judgement...the earth trembles. Just listen to the drum-roll, and your hair will stand on end! The Last Trump sounds; the graves spring open, and all creation comes writhing out of the bowels of the earth, with wailing and gnashing of teeth". This leads finally into the Resurrection Chorale: "Aufersteh'n ja aufersteh'n" ("Rise up again, yes rise up").
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