Was it Mendelssohn or Mahler who played Queen Elizabeth out?Uncategorized
The march that accompanied Her Majesty on her last journey down the Mall sounded to all symphonic ears like the opening of Mahler’s Fifth.
Listen here at 11:04.
It was, in fact, Mendelssohn’s Song Without Words, opus 62/3. It was intended for drawing room use and orchestrated by later hands for marching bands. In the original piano version it is by no means funereal.
The question, yet to be resolved, is how it penetrated Mahler’s ear so deep that it returned as the opening of his fifth symphony, and again in a modulated reprise. Mahler gave the tune to solo trumpet with a mournful purpose. Had he ever heard it in a funeral?