Like other symphonic works that combine instrumental and vocal resources, Mahler's ““Resurrection”” symphony seems to pose a genre puzzle, especially to those who have tried to subject its choral finale to formal exegesis. Carl Dahlhaus dodged the difficulty of categorization in his analysis by declaring it and all other examples of the ““symphonycantata”” as members of an intractable ““genre of exceptions.””
Approaching the work along an alternative, metaformal exegetical pathway foregrounds instead the reciprocal relationship of artistic creation and life-experience, and leads ultimately to the conclusion that in this work Mahler reconciled instrumental and vocal discursive modes through the finale's reenactment of its own genesis.
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