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Mahler score
A page from Mahler’s original handwritten 1894 score. Used with permission.

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St. Anthony of Padua’s Sermon to the Fish
Text by Achim von Arnim
English translation by Dr. Renate Stark-Voit and Thomas Hampson
Used with permission

At sermon time Anthony
finds the church empty!
He goes to the rivers
and preaches to the fish!
They flap with their tails!
They gleam in the sunshine, they gleam!

The carp with roe
have all congregated;
their jaws gaping,
intent on listening!
Never did a sermon
so please the fish!

Sharp-snouted pike,
that fence continually,
swam up in a hurry
to hear the holy man!
Even those odd creatures
that continually fast:
I mean the codfish,
appear for the sermon!
Never did a sermon
so please the codfish!

Good eels and sturgeon
that people of quality relish,
even they condescend
to attend the sermon!
Crayfish, too, and turtles,
usually slowboats,
climb hurriedly from the depths
to hear this voice!
Never did a sermon
so please the crayfish!

Fish big and fish small!
Of quality and common!
They raise their heads
like rational creatures!
At God’s command
they listen to the sermon.

The sermon finished,
each one turns away!
The pike remain thieves,
the eels great lovers;
the sermon was pleasing,
they all stay the same!

The crabs go backwards;
the codfish stay fat;
the carp gorge a lot,
the sermon’s forgotten!
The sermon was pleasing,
they all stay the same!

Movement Three
"Never Did a Sermon So Please the Fish"

In the summer of 1893, Mahler wrote a song, entitled “St. Anthony of Padua’s Sermon to the Fish.” It turned out so well, he incorporated melodies from it into the third movement of his Second Symphony.

Guests include:
• Matthew Aucoin, Composer/Conductor
• Carter Brey, Principal Cello, New York Philharmonic
• Marilyn McCoy, Columbia University, New York
• Kent Nagano, Hamburg State Opera and Philharmonic; Montreal Symphony Orchestra
• Joanna Neilly, Oxford University, England

James Lurie is the voice of Mahler
Laura Gragtmans is the voice of Natalie Bauer-Lechner
Robert Fass as the voice of Siegfried Lipiner


Music used in Episode 3. All titles used with permission.

Symphony No. 2 in C Minor Resurrection: III. In ruhig fließender Bewegung (“In calmly flowing motion”)
By Gustav Mahler

Performed by the South West German Radio Symphony, conducted by Michael Gielen
Courtesy of Naxos of America, Inc.
SWR Classic (SWR19042CD)

Symphony No. 2 in C minor “Resurrection” – III: (Scherzo) In ruhig fließender Bewegung (“In calmly flowing motion”)
By Gustav Mahler

Performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Christoph Eschenbach
Courtesy of Naxos of America, Inc.
Ondine (ODE 1134-2D)

Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection” – Arrangement for 2 piano, 8 hands – Third Movement
By Gustav Mahler

Performed by Briely Cutting, Angela Turner, Stephen Emmerson, and Stewart Kelly
Courtesy of Melba Recordings
Melba Recordings (MR301144)

Des Knaben Wunderhorn: No. 6, Des Anonius von Padua Fischpredigt
By Gustav Mahler

Performed by Hanno Muller-Brachmann, with the South West German Radio Symphony, conducted by Michael Gielen
Courtesy of Naxos of America, Inc.
SWR Classic (SWR19042CD)

Das Rheingold, Scene 1: Vorspiel (Live)
By Richard Wagner

Performed by the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Jaap van Zweden
Courtesy of Naxos of America, Inc.
Naxos (8.660374-75)

Eine Alpensinfonie – “At the waterfall”
By Richard Strauss

Performed by the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, conducted Andrés Orozco-Estrada
Courtesy of Naxos of America, Inc.
Pentatone (PTC 5186628)

La Mer, L. 111: I. De l'aube a midi sur la mer
By Claude Debussy

Performed by the Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Geoffrey Simon
Courtesy of Naxos of America, Inc.
Signum Classics (SIG2092)

Missa de S Anthonii de Padua – Gradual, “Os justi meditabitur sapientiam”
By Guillaume Dufay

Performed by The Binchois Consort, conducted by Andrew Kirkman
Courtesy of Hyperion Records
Hyperion (CDA66854)