Wien... Leipzig: Universal-Edition [PN U.E. 2660], 1910. Folio. [i] (title within decorative Jugendstil border printed in sepia lithographed by Jos. Eberle & Co. of Vienna), [ii] (printed description of instrumental and vocal forces), 3-211, [i] (blank) pp. . Printer's note to lower left corner of p. 3: "Druckerei- und Verlags-Aktiongesellschaft vorm. R. v. Waldheim-Jos. Eberle & Co."
Circular handstamp of "Hupfeld's Filiaal Piano-, Phonola- en Muz.handel Directie: Duwaer & Naessens Stadhouderskade 19-20 Amsterdam." Annotation "pater profundus" in pencil to p. 107.
Original publisher's wrappers lacking; spine reinforced with brown paper tape. Outer corners bumped.
First Edition, variant issue, without dedication to Alma Mahler on verso of title and the original ending but with the notice of performance forces as in the second state. The publication of the piano-vocal score pre-dates that of the full score.
"Mahler... conceived [the Eighth Symphony] ‘inspirationally’ after a period of anxiety about composing a new work. His anxiety found exuberant expression in the words of the Latin hymn Veni Creator Spiritus, whose setting he rapidly sketched as the first part of a symphonic cantata for double chorus, boys' choir, soloists and large orchestra (including mandolin, celesta, piano, harmonium and organ). The second part... became Mahler's most ambitious essay in festival-symphonic ceremonial; he described the Eighth as a joyful ‘gift to the nation.’" Peter Franklin in Grove Music Online.
"The opening movement... is predominantly jubilant in mood, its polyphony owing much to Mahler's recent study of Bach's cantatas. This invocatory challenge to a Catholic Christian creator spirit is succeeded, in the second movement, by a setting of the closing scene of Goethe's Faust (Part 2). In a last public affirmation of his intellectual ‘Germanness’, Mahler returned to a metaphysical and transcendental narrative... The overwhelming orchestral tutti of the work's final paean is augmented by a separately placed brass group which proclaims a transformatory reduction of the work's originating motif, now a musical deus ex machina." ibid
"The powerful physicality of that climax, commanded by Mahler's notoriously masterful and domineering baton, emphatically underlines the contradictions of the Eighth, whose ‘double’ first performance (12 and 13 September 1910) represented the climax of his public career as a conductor-composer," ibid. Item #24593
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