*For an introduction to my whole series on Mahler, with links, click here!*
Apart from the overwhelming overall effect, I’d merely like to zoom in on a tiny detail (as I did with the syncopated percussion cadential pattern in the hymns of Yanggao Daoists): the use of quintuplets, often informed by Mahler’s instruction nicht eilen! (“Don’t rush!”). An example from the finale (fig.22, from 1.27.27 in Abbado’s performance here):
The figure returns at 1.31.58, and then with the full orchestra led by blazing trumpets.
Quintuplets play a similar role in climactic moments of the 9th symphony, like this passage (from 1.06.09 on the Bernstein performance here):
—and just dig all those string glissandos. Such a rhythm creates a quite different effect from the more conventional alternative, like this magnificent recapitulation on the horns (for the major 7th leap, see here):