Performances by Gustav Mahler

Versions and publications


          18-12-1894. Manuscript Symphony No. 2 sign off.

  • 00-12-1894 Copyist's full score of the first three movements (1, 3, 2) prepared
  • 04-01-1895 Manuscript parts for the first three movements completed by this date
  • 12-01-1895 Mahler holds a run-through of the first three movements in Hamburg
  • 04-03-1895 First performance of the first three movements (1, 2, 3) in Berlin, conducted by Mahler. 1895 Concert Berlin 04-03-1895 - Symphony No. 2 - movement 1, 2 and 3 (Premiere)
  • 00-10-1895 Copyist's full score of the complete (?) Symphony prepared
  • 17-10-1895 First batch of chorus parts for the Symphony were ready by this date
  • 13-12-1895 First complete performance of the Symphony, conducted by Mahler in Berlin. 1895 Concert Berlin 13-12-1895 - Symphony No. 2 (Premiere).
  • 14-12-1895 Performance 1896 Concert Leipzig 14-12-1896 - Symphony No. 2 - movement 1 and 2
  • 00-12-1895 First edition of the vocal score of Lied 11: Urlicht published
  • 00-01-1896 Hermann Behn (1857-1927)'s two-piano arrangement of the Symphony published
  • 00-02-1897 First edition of the full score published by Friedrich Hofmeister 
  • 00-03-1897 The rights transferred from Friedrich Hofmeister to Josef Weinberger (1855-1928)
  • 00-00-1899 Second issue (Titelauflage) of the full score and the scecond edition of the vocal score of Urlicht published
  • 00-00-1899 First edition of the orchestral and vocal parts prepared
  • 00-01-1899 First edition of the piano duet arrangement published
  • 20-12-1901 Gustav Mahler participates in a performance of Symphony No. 2 by Ernst von Schuch (1846-1914) in Dresden.
  • 00-00-1903 Second edition of the orchestral and chorus parts published
  • 15-06-1903 Performance at the Tonkünstlerfest des Allgemeinen Deutschen Musikvereins in Basel, conducted by Mahler. 1903 Concert Basel 15-06-1903 - Symphony No. 2.
  • 18-12-1903 Performance by Oskar Nedbal (1874-1930) in Rudolfinum, Prague. 
  • 00-04-1906 April First edition of the study score published
  • 08-12-1908 Performance at New York, conducted by Mahler. 1908 Concert New York 08-12-1908 - Symphony No. 2.
  • 17-04-1910 The last performance of the work conducted by Mahler, in Paris. 1910 Concert Paris 17-04-1910 - Symphony No. 2
  • 00-00-1910 Second edition by Universal Edition (UE)
  • 00-03-1911 Third edition of Urlicht published
  • 00-10-1911 Second edition of the piano duet arrangement published
  • 00-03-1913 Second edition of the full score published
  • 00-04-1914 Only edition of the arrangement for 2 pianos, 8 hands published
  • 00-12-1914 Second edition of the two-piano arrangement published
  • 00-12-1914 Fourth edition of Urlicht published
  • 00-00-1952 Third edition by Universal Edition (UE)
  • 00-00-1970 Fourth critical edition by Universal Edition (UE)
  • 00-00-1986 The Kaplan Foundation published an extensive facsimile edition with additional materials.
  • 00-00-1989 Publication of an arrangement by Bruno Walter for piano four-hands.
  • 00-00-2005 Fifth critical edition by Universal Edition (UE) and Gilbert Kaplan (1941-2016). As part of the new complete critical edition of Mahler's symphonies being undertaken by the Gustav Mahler Society, a new critical edition was produced as a joint venture between Universal Edition (UE) and Gilbert Kaplan (1941-2016) Foundation. Its world premiere performance was given on 18-10-2005 at the Royal Albert Hall in London with Gilbert Kaplan conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
  • 00-00-0000 Reproductions of earlier editions have been released by Dover and by Boosey & Hawkes




The symphony is written for an orchestra, a mixed choir, two soloists (soprano and contralto), organ, and an offstage ensemble of brass and percussion. The use of two tam-tams, one pitched high and one low, is particularly unusual; the end of the last movement features them struck in alternation repeatedly.


  • Bassoons (3rd and 4th bassoon doubling contrabassoon) (4)
  • Clarinets in B-flat, A, C (3rd clarinet doubling bass clarinet) (3)
  • Clarinets in E-flat (2nd E-flat clarinet doubling 4th clarinet in B-flat and A) (2)
  • Flute (all four doubling piccolos) (4)
  • Oboe (3rd and 4th oboe doubling English horns) (4)


  • Horns in F, four (7-10) also used offstage (preferably more) (10)
  • Trombones (4)
  • Trumpets in F and C, four to six used offstage (8-10)
  • Tuba


  • Bass drum
  • Bells, deep tuned (3)
  • Cymbals
  • Glockenspiel
  • Offstage percussion in Movement 5: Bass drum with cymbals attached, Triangle, Timpano
  • Rute, to be played on the shell of the bass drum
  • Snare drum
  • Tam-tam (high and low) (2)
  • Timpani (2 players and 8 timpani, with a third player in the last movement using two of the second timpanist's drums)
  • Triangle


  • Organ (used in fifth movement only)


  • Alto solo (sometimes by a mezzo-soprano) (used in fourth & fifth movements)
  • Soprano solo (used in fifth movement)
  • Mixed chorus (used in fifth movement)


"The largest possible contingent"

  • Cello
  • Double bass (some with low C extension)
  • Harp (several to each part in the last movement and possibly at one point in the Scherzo) (2)
  • Viola
  • Violin


  • Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Kožená, Sir Simon Rattle, 03-2011.