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This remarkably original work, with its recurring quotations from the composer’s own songs, notably Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of a Wayfarer) and Des Knaben Wunderhorn (The Boy’s Magic Horn), is the perfect expression of one of Mahler’s most quoted sayings, “The symphony is a world; it must contain everything”. The opening movement, filled with sounds that Mahler remembered from his childhood, depicts “Nature’s awakening from the long sleep of winter”, and is followed by an exuberant scherzo and trio based on a Ländler. The disturbing slow movement funeral march, based on the children’s song Frère Jacques, is unlike anything that had been heard before, and the symphony concludes with music of thrilling dramatic intensity.
Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 1 in D major, "Titan"
I. Langsam, schleppend
II. Kraftig bewegt, doch nicht zu schnell
III. Feierlich und gemessen, ohne zu schleppen
IV. Sturmisch bewegt
“Alsop brings a vigorous spring to the music's step...At no point does her Mahler seem anything less than well considered and expertly groomed. But one still wishes she'd take off the leash and let the music run free for a while.”
11th October 2012
“It's a thoughtful performance, very reined-in for the most part, though when Alsop finally lets her Baltimore forces off the leash in the closing peroration the effect is so startling that it blows you away...You're also very aware throughout of both the work's newness of vision and its debts”
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