“Frère Jacques” in Classical Music


We’ve been collecting versions of “Frère Jacques”. In the process we came across the tune in classical music. It can be found in the Symphony No. 1 in D major by Gustav Mahler which was composed in 1887-1888. The 3rd movement is a funeral march based on the song “Frère Jacques” in D minor.

“Mahler uses the song, which he cites as ‘Bruder Martin’, changed from major to minor, thus giving the piece the character of a funeral march. The mode change to minor is not an invention by Mahler, as is often believed, but rather the way this round was sung in the 19th and early 20th century in Austria….The extra-musical idea behind it is that of a hunter’s funeral and a procession of animals that follows.” –Wikipedia

You can hear the movement in the YouTube below…


Mama Lisa

Image: Wikipedia – “The Hunter’s Funeral. This woodcut by Moritz von Schwind (1850) was possibly the inspiration for this 3rd movement of Mahler’s Symphony No. 1.

This article was posted on Monday, April 16th, 2018 at 10:03 pm and is filed under Austria, Children's Songs, Classical Music, Composers, Countries & Cultures, France, Frère Jacques, French Kids Songs, Gustav Mahler, Mama Lisa, Music, YouTube. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

One Response to ““Frère Jacques” in Classical Music”

  1. Roger Webb Says:

    Also found in ‘Mystèrieuses’ the third movement of Jean Cras’s ‘Âmes d’enfants’ (Souls of children).

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