The register of Gustav Mahler’s works (Gustav Mahler Werke – GMW), developed in 2021 and 2022, is the first systematic presentation of Mahler’s works. Every compositional œuvre confronts us with peculiarities that are partly due to the music-historical context of its creation and partly to the individuality of the composer. The GMW are manageable in number, but traditional categories cannot be meaningfully applied to them. The common distinction between instrumental and vocal compositions would contradict one of the most important principles of Mahler’s composition, namely the interpenetration of symphony and song. A division of the works based on their chamber music or orchestral scoring makes little sense either, since numerous songs and also Das Lied von der Erde are available in both orchestral and piano versions. A work classification according to genres was therefore dispensed with.
The GMW are numbered chronologically – as far as an exact dating is possible. Different versions of a work are combined into groups of works, such as the three- and two-movement versions of Das klagende Lied (GMW 1; 1,1) or the three versions of the First Symphony (GMW 11; 11,1; 11,2). Parts or movements of multi-part works as well as individual songs from song cycles are denoted with lowercase letters (GMW 1a). Songs that exist in both piano and orchestral versions are distinguished by the capital letters K and O (GMW 21-K; GMW 21-O).
The catalog raisonné has four sections: I. Completed works; II. Unfinished Works and Fragments; III. Arrangements; IV. Lost Works. Sections II and III are denoted by the capital letters F (fragments) and B (Bearbeitungen [arrangements]) in front of the work number and are thus distinguished from each other and from the completed works that do not have such letters (GMW 50; GMW F51; GMW B59). The lost works (IV.) were not numbered.
The division of Section I, Finished Works, into four periods is offered on this website for the purpose of better readability and has no classificatory meaning.
The created links to the Mahler online repository are not yet active and are expected to be gradually activated from autumn 2023. All dates of the GMW are provisional and will be specified or updated in the context of Mahler online.
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