Channukah in Summer? (a note on Mahler’s Eighth Symphony)

Mahler-1906-Maiernigg3

Gustav Mahler in Maiernigg, summer 1906

As I write this, it is the last day of Channukah, 5776 (2015), and it occurrs to me that Maos Tzur, sung at Channukah, begins with a most unusual melodic progression:

Mahler8-Channukah-Maoz

E-flat, B-flat, E-flat, A-flat: Down a fourth then up a fourth. I searched in my mind for other instances of this combination of intervals, and all I came up with was: (more…)

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