The Adagietto from Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 is among the composer’s most recognizable works. According to Mahler’s wife Alma, the Adagietto was composed as a love song for her, accompanied by a short poem:
Wie ich Dich liebe, Du meine Sonne,
ich kann mit Worten Dir’s nicht sagen.
Nur meine Sehnsucht kann ich Dir klagen
und meine Liebe, meine Wonne!
[In which way I love you, my sunbeam,
I cannot tell you with words.
Only my longing, my love and my bliss
can I with anguish declare.]
The Adagietto is originally scored for strings and harp. This version, by master arranger Cliff Colnot, gives material to woodwinds with strings, allowing wind players to experience playing this seminal masterpiece.