Gustav-Mahler.eu

Woodwind

Brass

String sections

  • Double bass. 
  • Viola. 
  • Violin I.
  • Violin II.
  • Violoncel. 

Plucked

  • 2 Harp. 

Keyboard

  • 1 Celesta. 

Timpani

  • 1 Timpani 32/29/26/23.
  • 1 Timpani 29/26.

Percussion (4 players, 2 players offstage)

  • 1 Bass drum.
  • 3 Bells deep untuned.
  • 1 Celesta.
  • 1 Cowbells tuned (either onstage or offstage).
  • 1 Cymbal suspended.
  • 1 Cymbals clash.
  • 1 Glockenspiel.
  • 1 Hammer.
  • 1 Ruthe.
  • 1 Snare drum.
  • 1 Tam tam.
  • 1 Triangle.
  • 1 Xylophone.

Fernorchester (offstage)

Remarks

  • The sound of the hammer was stipulated by Mahler to be "brief and mighty, but dull in resonance and with a non-metallic character (like the fall of an axe)." The sound achieved in the premiere did not quite carry far enough from the stage, and indeed the problem of achieving the proper volume while still remaining dull in resonance remains a challenge to the modern orchestra. Various methods of producing the sound have involved a wooden mallet striking a wooden surface, a sledgehammer striking a wooden box, or a particularly large bass drum, or sometimes simultaneous use of more than one of these methods. Movement 4: Finale (Allegro moderato).

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