Gustav Mahler

Symphony No. 1 in D major ("Titan")

    Description by Steven Coburn

    Mahler's First Symphony was originally conceived as a tone poem in two parts. Loosely based on Jean Paul's novel Titan, the structure was this: Part I: "From the Days of Youth," Music of Flowers, Fruit and Thorn -- 1. Spring and No End; 2. Flowers; 3. In Full Sail; Part II: "The Human Comedy" -- 4. "Stranded!" Funeral March in the Style of Callot; 5. D'all Inferno al'Paradiso (From Hell to Heaven). These titles were accompanied by more extensive programs describing the metaphorical content of each movement. In Jean Paul's Titan we have a youth gifted with a burning artistic desire that the world has no use for, and who, finding no outlet or ability to adapt, gives way to despair and suicide. Mahler apparently saw himself in this figure, as he described this work as autobiographical in a very loose sense. On the other hand the music, some of which Mahler actually accumulated from various earlier works, contradicts this program in so many ways, especially in the triumphant conclusion, that Mahler later withdrew it. He eventually came to scorn the application of specific programs to his symphonies in general.

    Beyond Mahler's suppression of the program, there were other changes made before the symphony achieved its final form: the orchestra was expanded and the original second movement, entitled "Blumine" (Flowers) was dropped. This movement, the only surviving piece from Mahler's incidental music to Scheffel's Der Trompeter von Säkkingen, although having thematic ties to the rest of the symphony, is stylistically different, being scored for a much smaller orchestra.

    The primary source material for the remaining movements of the First Symphony is Mahler's Lieder eines Fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of a Wayfarer). The material of these songs, specifically the first and second, is not only quoted but also used as thematic material in the symphony, creating additional programmatic implications. Mahler's First Symphony is a stunning achievement for so young a composer, and despite its convoluted genesis is a fully mature, integrated and highly effective work.

    The first movement, Langsam Schleppend (Slow and Dragging), opens with an introduction invoking nature, eventually with cuckoo calls and distant fanfares. The principal theme is from the song "Ging heut' morgens übers Feld" (I Went Out This Morning Through the Fields) and is developed in a standard sonata form. The second movement, Kräftig bewegt (Strongly moving), is a lusty and hearty Austrian Ländler replete with yodels and foot stomping. The slower and wistful Trio conjures feelings of nostalgia and longing. Based on a woodcut depicting animals carrying a hunter to his grave, the third-movement funeral march, Feierlich und gemessen (Solemnly and measured), is deeply ironic. Mahler uses the folk song "Frère Jacques" in a lugubrious minor, played by a muted double bass solo. The central Trio is an evocation of tawdry Viennese cabaret music.

    Mahler's original program for the Stürmisch bewegt (Stormy) finale called the movement's dramatic opening "the sudden outburst of a wounded heart." After a long and violent beginning invoking the torments of hell, including a vehement march derived from the first movement, the music subsides into a yearning theme. After a return to the march, Mahler interrupts the mood with a transformative fanfare that eventually leads to a triumphant conclusion.

    Parts/Movements

    1. Langsam. Schleppend. Wie ein Naturlaut. Im Anfang sehr gemächlich
    2. Kräftig bewegt, doch nicht zu schnell
    3. Feierlich und gemessen, ohne zu schleppen
    4. Stürmisch bewegt - Energisch
    5. Blumine (discarded)

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2018 Deutsche Grammophon
    2018 Video Artist International 4603
    2018 Decca / Deutsche Grammophon 4798418
    2018 BR Klassik BRK 900714
    2018 ABC Classics
    2018 CAvi-music AVI 8553390
    2017 Deutsche Grammophon 4797477
    2017 NEOS NEOS 21602
    2017 Brilliant 99549/1
    2017 Warner Classics 9029586917
    2017 SWR Music SWR 19042
    2016 Deutsche Grammophon 4795805
    2016 Profil - Edition Günter Hänssler PH 14000
    2016 BR Klassik 900143
    2016 Exton 77
    2016 Oehms Classics OC 029
    2016 Deutsche Grammophon 4795553
    2015 Deutsche Grammophon 4795448
    2015 LPO LPO 0100
    2015 Hi-Q Records 35
    2015 Reference Recordings FR 715
    2015 Ondine ODE 12645
    2015 Warner Classics 552758
    2014 Deutsche Grammophon
    2014 RCA Red Seal 88843003502
    2014 Dreyer-Gaido DGCD 21082
    2014 Broken Audio BRAU 1145
    2014 Bmc Records BMC 188
    2014 United Audio Entertainment USA 6514206
    2014 Warner Classics 2564627828
    2014 ABC Classics 4810847
    2014 Haenssler / Hänssler Classic 93313
    2014 Deutsche Grammophon
    2013 Warner Classics 4317522
    2013 Signum Classics SIGCD 360
    2013 MDG 93017786
    2013 ICA Classics ICAC 5094
    2013 Signum Classics SIGCD 351
    2013 Royal Flemish Philharmonic RFP 4
    2013 LPO LPO 0070
    2013 Lodia Compact Discs / Lodia Music LOCD 776
    2013 San Francisco Symphony SFS 0067
    2013 Deutsche Grammophon 4791046
    2012 Deutsche Grammophon 001931702
    2012 Naxos 8501057
    2012 Oehms Classics OC 646
    2012 LSO Live LSO 0730
    2012 Music & Arts MA 1264
    2012 Naxos 8572207
    2012 Solo Musica / Wiener Philharmoniker WSLP 002
    2012 Solo Musica WS 001
    2012 Channel Classics CCSSA 33112
    2012 Apex 2564659420
    2012 Haenssler 93294
    2012 Concerto / Zebralution
    2011 Testament SBT 21462
    2011 Tahra TAH716718
    2011 Decca 466 342-2DF2
    2011 RCA Red Seal 88697727232
    2011 San Francisco Symphony 82193600432
    2011 Archipel ARPCD0516
    2011 Harmonia Mundi 1957118
    2011 Musical Concepts MC182
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon
    2010 Sony Classical 8869768365
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon 4778825
    2010 Coviello Classics 31002
    2010 Denon Records
    2010 RCA Red Seal 8869768609
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon
    2010 Decca
    2010 Challenge Classics 72355
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon
    2010 Decca
    2010 Capriccio Records 5026
    2010 London
    2010 Denon Records
    2010 Decca
    2010 Decca / Universal
    2010 Preiser Records 90784
    2010 Decca / Deutsche Grammophon
    2010 AAO Music
    2010 Decca
    2010 Decca / Universal
    2010 Audite 10022
    2010 Royal Philharmonic Masterworks / RPO 28630
    2010 Exton 34
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon
    2010 Decca
    2010 Decca
    2010 Decca
    2010 Decca
    2010 Music & Arts 1241
    2010 Naxos 8501502
    2010 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099960898
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon 4779260
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon 477 926-0
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon 477 866-8
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon 4778668
    2010 Decca
    2010 Decca
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon
    2010 West Hill Radio Archives 6033
    2009 Berlin Classics 184522
    2009 Bella Musica / Zebralution
    2009 Tudor Records 7147
    2009 Bella Musica / Zebralution
    2009 Denon Records
    2009 Denon Records
    2009 Denon Records 00795041971920
    2009 Denon Records
    2009 Denon Records
    2009 CSO Resound 901902
    2009 Exton 00026
    2009 Denon Records 00795041996121
    2009 BBC Legends / BBC Music / Medici Arts 42662
    2009 Denon Records
    2009 Sony Classical Essential Classics 745369
    2009 Membran 231755
    2009 Testament 1429
    2009 Decca
    2009 Documents / Membran 232540
    2008 RCO Live 08005
    2008 Antes Edition / Zebralution
    2008 Deutsche Grammophon 447023
    2008 EBS 6150
    2008 LSO 663
    2008 Gega New 332
    2008 Warner Classics
    2008 Retrospective 93188
    2008 Artek 41
    2008 Membran 231668
    2008 ZYX Music 100562
    2007 Amado Classics 4000
    2007 Preiser Records 90730
    2007 Forlane 16643
    2007 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099950072
    2007 RCO Live 07001
    2007 Berlin Classics 0149132
    2007 Apex
    2007 Decca 000894802
    2007 RCA Red Seal 87156
    2007 Decca
    2007 Union Square Music 54
    2006 Document 223511
    2006 Supraphon 38802
    2006 Edel Classics 0002332
    2006 Edel Classics 2612
    2006 LPO 12
    2006 EMI Music Distribution 40238
    2006 Classics & Jazz
    2006 Doremi Records 7850
    2006 Arte Nova 433140
    2006 Urania 55200
    2006 Virgin 82126
    2006 Haenssler 93137
    2006 Deutsche Grammophon 4776387
    2005 Deutsche Grammophon 2894775174
    2005 Archipel 0326
    2005 Warner Classics
    2005 Virgin Classics
    2005 Virgin 61475
    2005 Designo 222514
    2005 Warner Classics
    2005 Virgin Classics 482127
    2005 Parlophone
    2005 EMI Classics
    2005 EMI Classics
    2005 EMI Classics 5869942
    2005 EMI Classics
    2005 EMI Classics
    2005 Silverline Records 284211
    2005 Telarc Distribution 60628
    2005 Telarc Distribution 80628
    2005 Preiser Records 90669
    2005 Hungaroton 32338
    2005 Vox 97007
    2004 Orfeo 628041
    2004 Artemis Classics 1506
    2004 Disques XXI 1509
    2004 Sony Music Distribution 92460
    2004 Living Stage 1085
    2004 Novalis 150707
    2004 Virgin Classics 62395
    2004 Haenssler 93130
    2004 United Audio Entertai 65142
    2004 EMI Classics 562935
    2004 Silverline Classics 288238-9
    2004 CD Accord 124
    2004 Decca 000292202
    2004 Relief CR 991068
    2004 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 7243585974
    2003 NM Classics 97017
    2003 Brilliant 92005
    2003 Sony Music Distribution 87874
    2003 EMI Music Distribution 74963
    2003 Classic Collection 99845
    2003 Praga 250197
    2003 RPO 204429
    2003 Haenssler 93097
    2003 Artemis Classics 1210
    2003 Tim 220828
    2003 Classico 1503
    2002 Vanguard 507/508
    2002 Simax 1270
    2002 San Francisco Symphony 60002
    2002 IDIS 6386
    2002 Supraphon 36662
    2002 Brilliant 99549
    2002 Orfeo 562021
    2001 Classica d'Oro 1033
    2001 IDIS 6358
    2001 EMI Classics
    2001 Decca 4586222
    2001 Classical Express 3957118
    2001 Deutsche Grammophon 469660
    2001 Audiophile Records 539
    2001 Sony Classical 89499
    2000 Arkadia 78583
    2000 Stradivarius 10036
    2000 Stradivarius 10010
    2000 T-Rax 23
    2000 Vox 5123
    2000 Teldec 21339
    2000 EMI Music Distribution 574182-2
    2000 Audite 95467
    2000 Telarc Distribution 80545
    1999 Simax 1150
    1999 Chandos 9242
    1999 Deutsche Grammophon 459610
    1999 Penguin Classics 460654
    1999 BBC Music 40222
    1999 Deutsche Grammophon 459472
    1999 RCA 634692
    1999 Intersound 2863
    1999 Dutton Vocalion 1015
    1999 EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 7243573557
    1999 Warner Classics
    1999 Sony Music Distribution 7069
    1999 Platinum Entertainment 3855
    1999 New York Philharmonic 000
    1998 Deutsche Grammophon 459080
    1998 Delta Distribution 11554
    1998 Tuxedo Music 1048
    1998 Arte Nova 43314
    1998 Koch International Classics 7405
    1998 Sony Music Distribution 63328
    1998 Sony Classical SMK-60732
    1998 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 7243572941
    1998 Music & Arts 1021
    1998 Music & Arts CD-1021
    1997 Point Classics 265038
    1997 Deutsche Grammophon 449735
    1997 Chandos 9572
    1997 Sony Music Distribution MHK62342
    1997 EMI Music Distribution 66555
    1996 Capriccio Records 49043
    1996 Decca / Universal
    1996 Decca 448921
    1996 Rus 288123
    1996 Arts Music 47239
    1996 Decca / London 448 813-2DH
    1996 Tring 029
    1995 Berlin Classics 0091422
    1995 Antes Edition BM-CD 319042
    1995 Chandos 9308
    1995 Sony Music Distribution 64447
    1995 Deutsche Grammophon 445 565-2GMA
    1995 London 443030
    1995 Virgin 61258
    1995 Curb 78045
    1995 Sony Music Distribution 47573
    1995 Disky 6446
    1995 Everest 9022
    1995 Sony Music Distribution 23155
    1994 Harmonia Mundi 907118
    1994 Vox 5508
    1994 Supraphon 1860
    1994 Supraphon 1970
    1994 Naxos 550522
    1994 Philips 442050
    1994 Decca
    1993 Denon Records 7537
    1993 Sony Music Distribution 53259
    1993 Telarc Distribution 82004
    1993 Collins Records 30052
    1992 EMI Music Distribution 64471
    1992 Sony Music Distribution 48198
    1992 EMI Music Distribution 754647
    1992 Teldec 74868
    1992 London 430804
    1991 Deutsche Grammophon 431769
    1990 Deutsche Grammophon 427303
    1990 LaserLight 15529
    1990 CBS Records 37235
    1990 Sony Music Distribution 44907
    1990 Laserlight 35830
    1989 Deutsche Grammophon 429042
    1989 Deutsche Grammophon 429157
    1989 Laserlight 15828
    1989 Unicorn-Kanchana UKCD 2012
    1989 Laserlight 15820
    1988 Philips 420936
    1987 Telarc Distribution 80066
    1984 Decca
    1984 London 411731
    1980 Tahra 239/40
    Deutsche Grammophon 459081
    Originals 840
    Grammofono 2000 78595
    Grammofono 2000 78566
    Grammofono 2000 78646
    Platinum Entertainment 02992
    Brilliant 92005/1
    Vanguard 0020
    Supraphon 1953
    Magic Master 37093
    Disques Montaigne 8811
    London 425718
    Odyssey/Sony Classical 45674
    Point Classics 2650382
    Stradivari 6011
    Amado Classics 04020
    Deutsche Grammophon 471 451-2GB15
    Deutsche Grammophon 435162
    Urania
    EMI Music Distribution 7549072
    EMI Music Distribution 54217
    Deutsche Grammophon 429228
    Powder Classics 5096
    Arkadia 593
    Capriccio Records 49044
    Novalis 150033-2
    Philips 422329
    BBC Music Magazine 93
    Virgin 791096
    As Disc 402
    Excelsior Recordings 5247
    CBS Masterworks 37273
    Brilliant Classics 8635/69
    Rca Red Seal 80894
    Deutsche Grammophon 4000332
    EMI Music Distribution 64508
    Naxos 550120
    CBS Records 42031
    Sony Music Entertainment 87714
    Arlecchino 194
    Berlin Classics 0090382
    CBS Records 42194
    Chateau Music Group 10001
    EMI Music Distribution 569816-2
    Decca 417701
    Virgin 90703
    Deutsche Grammophon 471246
    MCA 29833
    Originals 843
    Canyon Classics 3679
    Digital Masterworks 71822
    EMI Music Distribution 64287
    Musique d'Or 1036
    Aurophon Records 31498
    Vanguard 4003
    As Disc 11006
    Pilz 160160
    EXL 5247
    Lodia Compact Discs 776
    Supraphon 111953
    Theorema 121152
    Legend 106
    Supraphon 111970
    Digital Concerto 669
    Vanguard 2030
    Decca 4756686
    Sirio 530030
    Tim 220833
    Deutsche Grammophon 469154
    Vivace 321
    Tring 029
    Intersound 3091
    MMF 01