There’s a strange ‘ringing’ — best word I can use to describe the sound — right at the end of Mahler’s 8th Symphony, and I can’t work out if it’s woodwinds or another family, although it doesn’t sound like the strings.

MAHLER | Symphony no. 8 | Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra | Marc Albrecht | Concertgebouw

Symphony no. 8 by Gustav Mahler performed by the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra with chief conductor Marc Albrecht. Recorded at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam on Saturday February 23 2019.

You can hear it right at the epic ending, specially after the cymbal crashes starting at 01:25:36 and again, rather quite loudly, right before the finish.

See I can’t tell if it’s the recording, it could just be the huge amount of power going through nearly every single instrument. I can swear I can still hear something albeit not as loudly mind in other recordings.

  • If it's the same thing that I heard, then I think that it's either the flutes or the flutes in sustained resonance with the other woodwinds (oboe and english horn?). Can you identify the pitch? May 15, 2020 at 22:37
  • I’m afraid I cannot be very precise but it’s of a high pitch most certainly. Some form of a vibrato may indicate such noise. At least you can hear it too.
    – cmp
    May 16, 2020 at 9:31
  • @RBarryYoung Whatever you're hearing has nothing to do with the oboes, there's no way they'll be audible against everything else. The four flutes and the E-flat clarinet on the high G might be audible, but they're not going to 'resonate' with anything. The brass and the organ dominate the sound.
    – PiedPiper
    May 16, 2020 at 18:57

1 Answer 1


This it the last page of the score.

enter image description here

That's a lot of noise. I have no idea what you are hearing, but I can't hear anything that's not in the score. You might possibly be hearing the organ which enters on the previous page. Mahler writes "Volles Werk" (full organ: all stops out) over the entry, but it's possible that the organist saves a couple of stops and adds them thirteen bars before the end.


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