• Mahler Autograph Symphonie Nr. 4 Anfang 1. Satz

Bells ('Schellen') for Gustav Mahler Symphony No. 4

These bells have been specially designed for Gustav Mahler's 4th Symphony. There were two major reasons for this. On the one hand the musical one: it seems rather unlikely that Gustav Mahler envisioned the sound of innumerable metal bells pressed by machine, as they are often used nowadays as ‚sleigh bells‘ and often inevitably make one think of the Christmas carol ‚Jingle Bells‘. On the other hand, a pragmatic one: sleigh bells can only be played rhythmically precisely to a limited extent, and sleigh bells can hardly be picked up or put down without making a noise unless they are hung on a stand.

Of course, these bells can also be used for Orff's ‚Carmina Burana‘ or Strauss‘ ‚The Woman without a Shadow‘.

  • Die-cast and burnished bells

  • Wooden support with incorporated resonance bodies

  • Ergonomically shaped handle
     
  • Relatively dry but dominant sound

  • Supports rhythmically precise playing

  • Noiseless picking up and putting down

  • Small version with five bells and aluminium support or large version with ten bells

Subject to errors and technical changes. Similar pictures.

The bells (Mahler Schellen) made by Thomas Rönnefarth impress first and foremost with their concise and assertive sound. At last it is possible to play articulated and absolutely understandable for the listener. No uncontrolled jumble of bells.

Thanks to the resonance body built into the handle and the holes on the side, this instrument can be used dynamically and flexibly and can be played equally precisely in pianissimo and fortissimo. Perfect for the bells part in Gustav Mahler's 4th Symphony and just as perfectly suited for operas such as Strauss‘ "The Woman without a Shadow" or Janacek's" Jenufa ".

The handling is ingenious as well as extremely simple. It is possible to deposit the bells absolutely silently on a trap table. A not entirely unimportant factor with an instrument like this!

Dominic Herrmann
Principal Percussionist Opera Zurich
Oper Zürich