Today's Memory

Today’s Memory – Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 in D Major

The premiere of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 in D Major

20 November, 1889


Symphony No. 1 in D major by Gustav Mahler was mainly composed between late 1887 and March 1888, though it incorporates music Mahler had composed for previous works. It was composed while Mahler was second conductor at the Leipzig Opera, Germany. Although in his letters Mahler almost always referred to the work as a symphony, the first two performances described it as a symphonic poem or tone poem. The work was premièred at the Vigadó Concert Hall, Budapest, conducted by Mahler, in 1889, but was not well received.

Mahler made some major revisions for the second performance, given at Hamburg in October 1893; further alterations were made in the years prior to the first publication, in late 1898. Some modern performances and recordings give the work the title Titan, despite the fact that Mahler only used this label for two early performances, and never after the work had reached its definitive four-movement form in 1896.

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Gustav Mahler – Symphony No. 1 in D Major „The Titan” • Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Conductor Leonard Bernstein


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