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The Creative Process in Music from Mozart to Kurtág$
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William Kinderman

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037160

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037160.001.0001

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Aesthetics of Integration in Mahler’s Fifth Symphony

Aesthetics of Integration in Mahler’s Fifth Symphony

(p.102) 4 Aesthetics of Integration in Mahler’s Fifth Symphony
The Creative Process in Music from Mozart to Kurtág

William Kinderman

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the intermovement connections of the final two movements in Mahler's Fifth Symphony—the Adagietto and the Rondo-Finale. It shows how the questions of aesthetic meaning and biographical context raised by the Adagietto are complicated by the fact that the finale of the Fifth Symphony has generated its own share of controversy since the appearance in 1960 of Theodor Adorno's classic study Mahler: Eine musikalische Physiognomik. The chapter studies these paired final movements of the Fifth Symphony and explores the nature of their interrelationship. It then assesses Mahler's techniques of integration in light of the influence on his style of Bach and Wagner as well as his interest in the aesthetics of polarity as articulated by one of his favorite writers, Jean Paul. In this context, the chapter returns to Adorno's conviction that “brokenness” is the key to Mahler's music.

Keywords:   Gustav Mahler, Fifth Symphony, Adagietto, Rondo-Finale, Friedrich Rückert, Theodor Adorno, integration, polarity, brokenness

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