Symphony No. 5 in C Sharp Minor, IV: Adagietto

Today for Classical Sunday, I’ve selected a piece by Austro-Bohemian Romantic composer and conductor Gustav Mahler (1860-1911). He was very successful as a composer, and his compositions bridged the 19th-century Austro-German classical style and 20th-century modernism. Unfortunately, his music endured periods of not being played publicly, including a ban across much of Europe in the Nazi era. After 1945, his music gained new audiences and remains highly popular among classical enthusiasts.

Mahler composed Symphony No. 5 in C Sharp Major during the summer months of 1901 and 1902, at his cottage. The fourth movement (Adagietto, or “very slow”) is played frequently on its own.

The Adagietto is a flowing, gentle piece evocative of many feelings. While there are some solemn passages, wonder, hope and gratitude develop through most of it. Today I’m feeling the latter… grateful after enjoying a rock music album our son released yesterday (Dark Little Ones, by Kieran West. It is super impressive; I’m very proud, and I’ll be posting about it soon!).

Now you know a little about why this is my Song of the Day for Today. Thanks for joining me here.

The video for today comes from a July 2014 performance by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Spanish conductor Juanjo Mena (b. 1965). They performed the entire symphony (about 70 minutes long) at the BBC Proms, an annual, eight-week summer festival at the Royal Albert Hall in London, UK, formally known as the Henry Wood Promenade Concerts Presented by the BBC. Please enjoy.

With my best wishes,


2 thoughts on “Symphony No. 5 in C Sharp Minor, IV: Adagietto

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