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 / Performer Label / Catalog # AllMusic Rating
    2020
    Ars Produktion
    ARS 38259
    2019
    VAI Audio
    VAIA 1285
    2019
    Harmonia Mundi
    HMM 905299DI
    2019
    Harmonia Mundi
    HMM 905299
    2019
    BIS
    BIS 2346
    2019
    BR Klassik
    BRK 900179
    2019
    RCO / RCO Live
    1433701850
    2018
    Deutsche Grammophon
    2018
    Video Artist International
    4603
    2018
    Decca / Deutsche Grammophon
    4798418
    2018
    ICA Classics
    ICAC 5151
    2018
    BR Klassik
    BRK 900714
    2018
    CAvi-music
    AVI 8553390
    2018
    ABC Classics
    2018
    SWR Music
    SWR 19510CD
    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
    Various Artists
    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
    United Audio Entertainment
    USA 6514206
    2014
    Bmc Records
    BMC 188
    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
    London Philharmonic Orchestra / LPO
    LPO 0070
    2013
    Lodia Compact Discs / Lodia Music
    LOCD 776
    2013
    SFS Media
    SFS 0067
    2013
    Deutsche Grammophon
    4791046
    2012
    Deutsche Grammophon
    001931702
    2012
    Sony Classical / Sony Music
    88691920102
    2012
    Various Artists
    Naxos
    8501057
    2012
    Oehms Classics
    OC 646
    2012
    LSO Live
    LSO 0730
    2012
    Music & Arts
    MA 1264
    2012
    Solo Musica / Wiener Philharmoniker
    WSLP 002
    2012
    Channel Classics
    CCSSA 33112
    2012
    Naxos
    8572207
    2012
    Solo Musica
    WS 001
    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
    SFS Media
    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
    Decca
    2010
    Deutsche Grammophon
    2010
    Capriccio Records
    5026
    2010
    London
    2010
    Denon Records
    2010
    Decca
    2010
    Preiser Records
    90784
    2010
    Decca / Universal
    2010
    Audite
    10022
    2010
    AAO Music
    2010
    Decca / Universal
    2010
    Decca
    2010
    Royal Philharmonic Masterworks / RPO
    28630
    2010
    Exton
    34
    2010
    Deutsche Grammophon
    2010
    Deutsche Grammophon
    2010
    Decca
    2010
    Decca / Deutsche Grammophon
    2010
    Decca
    2010
    Decca
    2010
    Decca
    2010
    Music & Arts
    1241
    2010
    Naxos
    8501502
    2010
    Various Artists
    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
    2009
    Denon Records
    00795041971920
    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
    Warner Classics
    2008
    LSO
    663
    2008
    Gega New
    332
    2008
    Retrospective
    93188
    2008
    Artek
    41
    2008
    Membran
    231668
    2008
    ZYX Music
    100562
    2007
    Various Artists
    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
    London Philharmonic Orchestra / LPO
    12
    2006
    EMI Music Distribution
    40238
    2006
    Classics & Jazz
    2006
    Doremi Records
    7850
    2006
    Virgin
    82126
    2006
    Arte Nova
    433140
    2006
    Urania
    55200
    2006
    Haenssler
    93137
    2006
    Deutsche Grammophon
    4776387
    2005
    Deutsche Grammophon
    2894775174
    2005
    Archipel
    0326
    2005
    Warner Classics
    2005
    Virgin
    61475
    2005
    Virgin Classics
    2005
    Designo
    222514
    2005
    Parlophone
    2005
    Virgin Classics
    482127
    2005
    Warner Classics
    2005
    EMI Classics
    2005
    EMI Classics
    2005
    EMI Classics
    2005
    EMI Classics
    2005
    EMI Classics
    5869942
    2005
    Silverline Records
    284211
    2005
    Telarc Distribution
    80628
    2005
    Telarc Distribution
    60628
    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
    SFS Media
    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
    Arte Nova
    43314
    1998
    Delta Distribution
    11554
    1998
    Tuxedo Music
    1048
    1998
    Koch International Classics
    7405
    1998
    Sony Music Distribution
    63328
    1998
    Sony Classical
    SMK-60732
    1998
    EMI Classics / Warner Classics
    7243572941
    1998
    Music & Arts
    CD-1021
    1998
    Music & Arts
    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
    Everest
    9022
    1995
    Disky
    6446
    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
    Various Artists
    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
    London
    411731
    1984
    Decca
    1980
    Tahra
    239/40
    Deutsche Grammophon
    459081
    Originals
    840
    Grammofono 2000
    78595
    Grammofono 2000
    78566
    Grammofono 2000
    78646
    Platinum Entertainment
    02992
    Vanguard
    0020
    Brilliant
    92005/1
    Supraphon
    1953
    Magic Master
    37093
    Disques Montaigne
    8811
    London
    425718
    Odyssey/Sony Classical
    45674
    Amado Classics
    04020
    Stradivari
    6011
    Point Classics
    2650382
    Deutsche Grammophon
    471 451-2GB15
    Deutsche Grammophon
    435162
    Urania
    EMI Music Distribution
    54217
    EMI Music Distribution
    7549072
    Deutsche Grammophon
    429228
    Powder Classics
    5096
    Arkadia
    593
    Novalis
    150033-2
    Capriccio Records
    49044
    Deutsche Grammophon
    4000332
    As Disc
    402
    Excelsior Recordings
    5247
    Virgin
    791096
    Philips
    422329
    EMI Music Distribution
    64508
    CBS Masterworks
    37273
    Brilliant Classics
    8635/69
    Rca Red Seal
    80894
    BBC Music Magazine
    93
    CBS Records
    42031
    Arlecchino
    194
    CBS Records
    42194
    Sony Music Entertainment
    87714
    Naxos
    550120
    Berlin Classics
    0090382
    Chateau Music Group
    10001
    EMI Music Distribution
    569816-2
    Decca
    417701
    Virgin
    90703
    Deutsche Grammophon
    471246
    MCA
    29833
    Originals
    843
    Theorema
    121152
    Legend
    106
    Aurophon Records
    31498
    Vanguard
    4003
    As Disc
    11006
    Digital Masterworks
    71822
    EMI Music Distribution
    64287
    Canyon Classics
    3679
    Supraphon
    111953
    Lodia Compact Discs
    776
    Pilz
    160160
    EXL
    5247
    Musique d'Or
    1036
    Supraphon
    111970
    Digital Concerto
    669
    Vanguard
    2030
    Decca
    4756686
    Sirio
    530030
    Tim
    220833
    Deutsche Grammophon
    469154
    Vivace
    321
    Tring
    029
    Intersound
    3091
    MMF
    01