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Symphony No. 1 'Titan'
Mahler’s heroic 'Titan' invites audiences to experience the wonder of nature, through haunting anguish to blazing victory. Daniel Harding returns to conduct the Verbier Festival Orchestra.

Symphony No. 1 in D major ‘Titan’

Mahler’s first symphony began life in 1889 as a ‘Symphonic Poem in Two Parts’, before he recast it into four movements as Symphony No. 1. Its ‘Titan’ name was Mahler’s own, referring to Saturn’s largest moon, and its sound world is trademark Mahler, with its evocations of the Austrian countryside and town life, flashes of irony, and its grappling with life while haunted by the spectre of death. It opens with nature awakening, complete with cuckoo calls, offstage trumpets suggesting the universe beyond the meadows. The second movement presents a Ländler folk dance, contrasted with a more town-like central Trio. The third is dominated by a transformation of the children’s song, Frère Jacques, into a dark funeral march, which gets interrupted by a crude town band. The fourth begins as if in battle, recalls previous movements, then ends in a victorious blaze of brass.

MAHLER Symphonie No. 1 'Titan' : iv. Stürmisch bewegt
VFO / Dutoit – Verbier Festival 16.07.2010