Berliner Philharmoniker – Mahler Symphony No. 1 (2021) [FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Berliner Philharmoniker – Mahler Symphony No. 1 (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 55:42 minutes | 945 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

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 and as a tone poem in symphonic form respectively. The work was premièred at the Vigadó Concert Hall, Budapest, 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 the second and third performances, and never after the work had reached its definitive four-movement form in 1896.

In a volcanic outburst of creativity, the 27-year-old Gustav Mahler wrote his First Symphony within just a few weeks. He then struggled significantly longer to find a definitive shape for this unprecedentedly novel work, which shook the musical public like an earthquake and divided heated tempers into Mahler lovers and Mahler loathers. No one was left cold by the overpowering sound of this work he initially entitled Titan (after Jean Paul’s novel). It begins as a quivering surface (“Wie ein Naturlaut” – “Like a sound of nature”) out of which motivic ideas emerge – fanfare and birdcall fragments from near and far, including an obstinate cuckoo – until a melody is articulated, derived from the Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of a Wayfarer), where it is sung to the words “Ging heut Morgen übers Feld…Wird’s nicht eine schöne Welt?” (“This morning I went across the fields…Isn’t the world looking lovely?”). In programmatic indications that he later withdrew, Mahler describes the movement as “the awakening of Nature after a long winter’s sleep”. The earthy ländler-scherzo is followed by a whimsical funeral-march parody based on a minor-mode version of the folksong canon Bruder Jakob (Frère Jacques). Naïve humour and obscure tragedy clash very much as in Jean Paul’s writings. The “horrifying outcry” that launches the finale definitively exposes the “lovely world’s” ambiguity. The violence of this last movement tears open a roaring abyss. According to Mahler, in the tumultuous masses of sound the “hero” – is it the composer himself? – is locked in a terrible battle “with all the sorrows of this world”. Then, almost imperceptibly, out of a reminiscence of the shimmering sounds of nature that began the symphony, a “victory chorale” takes shape and, with the mobilization of all forces, is elevated into a gigantic apotheosis. Mahler’s First: a hero’s life – or indeed a commedia humana? – 2020 Berlin Phil Media GmbH

Details of original recording : Recorded : 29 March 2019, Philharmonie Berlin (Germany)

Tracklist

01. Berliner Philharmoniker – I. Langsam. Schleppend – Immer sehr gemächlich
02. Berliner Philharmoniker – II. Kräftig bewegt, doch nicht zu schnell – Trio. Recht gemächlich
03. Berliner Philharmoniker – III. Feierlich und gemessen, ohne zu schleppen
04. Berliner Philharmoniker – IV. Stürmisch bewegt

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