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The final movement, marked zurückhaltend ("very slowly and held back"; literally, "reservedly"), opens with only strings. Commentators have noted the similarity of the opening theme in particular to the hymn tune Eventide (Abide With Me is a well-known Christian hymn composed by Henry Francis Lyte in 1847). But most importantly it incorporates a direct quote from the Rondo-Burleske's middle section. Here it becomes an elegy. After several impassioned climaxes the movement becomes increasingly fragmented and the coda ends quietly.

Symphony No. 9. Movement 4: Adagio. Sehr langsam und noch zuruckhaltend.

On the closing pages, Mahler quotes the first violins from his own Kindertotenlieder: The day is fine on yonder heights. The last note is marked ersterbend ("dying away"). The last two pages last for six minutes, an unprecedented amount of time for so few notes. Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) speculated at the end of his 5th Norton lecture that the entire movement is symbolically prophesying three kinds of death: Mahler's own impending death, the death of tonality, and the death of "Faustian" culture in all the arts.

Symphony No. 9, Movement 4: Adagio. Sehr langsam und noch zuruckhaltend.

Symphony No. 9, Movement 4: Adagio. Sehr langsam und noch zuruckhaltend, finale.

Symphony No. 9. Movement 4: Adagio. Sehr langsam und noch zuruckhaltend. Lebt wol! Lebt wol!

Symphony No. 9. Movement 4: Adagio. Sehr langsam und noch zuruckhaltend. Welt! Lebe wohl!

Symphony No. 9. Movement 4: Adagio. Sehr langsam und noch zuruckhaltend. Last page.

Symphony No. 9. Movement 4: Adagio. Sehr langsam und noch zuruckhaltend. Last page. Signing off. Toblach, Thursday, 02-09-1909. Year 1909.

Movement 4: Adagio. Sehr langsam und noch zuruckhaltend. Notes on the last page by Willem Mengelberg (1871-1951).

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