Piano Quartet (Mahler)

Piano Quartet (Mahler)

The "Piano Quartet in A minor" by Gustav Mahler was written around 1876. Much of the work was left incompleted or is missing entirely. Only the first movement is performed.


This quartet was an early work of Gustav Mahler. Mahler is generally known for his large-scale symphonies; he is not often associated with chamber music. Dating back to 1876, Mahler wrote this when he was around 16, still in the Vienna Conservatory at that time. This is one example of the early youth works of Mahler that survived, but were either incompleted or missing.

Mahler sent the work to the publisher Theodor Rattig, who never published the work.

In numerous letters, Mahler mentions a quartet, but they are quite vague and it is uncertain if they specifically mentioned this piano quartet.

The work

Mahler was strongly influenced by the music of Johannes Brahms, Franz Schubert, Richard Wagner, and Anton Bruckner. Mahler's use of harmonic texture and key foreshadows the later string chamber works of Arnold Schoenberg.

This quartet is the only chamber piece known to be composed by Gustav Mahler. The work is incomplete; only the first movement was completely written. Verify source|date=May 2007 The first movement is often only performed as Mahler's quartet. However, there exists a 24-bar sketch of a scherzo written in G minor, sometimes paired with the quartet.

The work is scored for a usual piano quartet, which consists of a piano, a violin, a viola, and a cello. It is often referred to as "Piano Quartet Movement in A minor", since the opening movement is the only one completed. Typical recordings usually last between 12 to 15 minutes.


*World premiere: July 10, 1876 at the Vienna Conservatory with Mahler at the piano. Verify source|date=May 2007
*American premiere: January 12, 1964 in New York City with Peter Serkin and the Galimir Quartet.

External links


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