Reception of Mahler's First Symphony has often concluded that it undermines the teleological premise of its symphonic principles. The aurhoress proposes that Mahler's 'failure' to achieve a clear syntactic process shows instead a proactive engagement with the potential of sonorities to create a meaningful, multi-dimensional space. This quality in his music can be framed as a type of early sonoristic project. The work shows a characteristic sensitivity to register, dynamics, and tone color. Mahler's spatial music facilitates a phenomenological pivot from a 'lateral' orientation toward one of 'depth'. This pivot magnifies the passage's experiential weight and, by extension, its capacity to symbolize the beginning of the hero's path.
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