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Translated as “at midnight,” this song was written in the summer of 1901 in Maiernigg am Wörthersee, Austria, where Mahler spent his vacations while working as director of the Vienna Court Opera. According to the foreword: “As with almost all of his songs, Um Mitternacht is also actively connected with the composition of his symphonies. This song may not have originated as part of a symphony as many others did, but Mahler added the orchestration a little later, more or less transcribing it with symphonic standards in mind... It is musically obvious that Mahler aimed for a certain amount of reduction in this song. Just a few themes are joined together to make a certain frame, without padding this out with sound. This… is what makes this piece so appealing. Transcription and interpretation are called upon to express this bleakness without suppressing the impulse to reduce it musically.” For advanced ensembles.