Favorite Mahler Symphony

Vote for your favorite Mahler symphony. I included the unfinished #10 as well as Das Lied von der Erde in the poll.

How could #5 not be the unanimous choice? My wife was going to walk down the aisle to it, but her mom made her change to something less “dramatic” the day before.

Das Lied for me. If that hadn’t been included it would have been an impossible choice; pretty much everything else is tied for second. :cool:

That would be a long aisle or a very slow walk :slight_smile:

Adagietto From Symphony No. 5 in C-sharp minor

I picked Symphony #8 with Symphony #2 right behind it.


Her dad had rented an audio system and speakers (on steroids) to do it justice. But we were able to play with them at the party the night before. Mahler and The Imperial March will never sound as cool as its being blasted out across the foothills of the Sierras as night was falling.

I like the Frère Jacques one (3rd movement of the 1st symphony I think). I haven’t listened to any of the others properly.

Though I’ve had the Bernstein set for years, I don’t play them often enough to make a really informed comparison. But my gut feeling leans toward #1.

That’s correct Alka Seltzer. It’s the first Mahler symphony that came to mind.

I remember hearing this piece for the first time in a music appreciation course as a college freshman. While hearing the music, the instructor lectured a little about Mahler’s life and then put a slide of the wood cut which may have inspired him to write the movement. It unexpectedly made me tear up at the time.

Number 8 then number 2, because they’re the ones in which I get to sing.

Have them all in multiple versions. My ranking:

  1. Das Lied von der Erde

  2. Symphony 4

  3. Symphony 9

  4. Symphony 2

  5. Symphony 6

  6. Symphony 1

  7. Adagio Symphony 10

  8. Symphony 5

  9. Symphony 3

  10. Symphony 7

  11. Symphony 8

The adagietto of the fifth would be up there with the top, but the whole symphony does not impress me as much as many of the others.

For some reason, I like that.

For whatever reason, I prefer the instrumental ones.

My favorite has been the 5th, ever since I picked up a cheap, no-frills CD of it, way back in the day when Best Buy used to have bins of cheap classical CDs. Looking it up just now on Amazon, I see I’m not the only one who liked this particular performance.

The punchline is that it’s called “The Huntsman’s Funeral.”

Wow, where’s the love for #2? I would have thought that would be a contender to win the poll.

I’ve noticed that Amazon tends to have very inexpensive downloads of Mahler’s works. I’ve downloaded quite a few works for $3-$5.

“I’m writing Das Lied von der Erde, and she only wants to make love!”

Not to hijack my own thread, but any suggestions for good books on Mahler? I’d like something above the level of Mahler for Dummies, but not looking for a dissertation either.

For the music, David Hurwitz’s The Mahler Symphonies: An Owner’s Manual
For the man, I suppose, Why Mahler?: How One Man and Ten Symphonies Changed Our World (by Norman Lebrecht), though I haven’t read it.