With its past Mahler festivals in 1920 and 1955, in 1982 the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra inaugurated a new Mahler series over the course of two seasons. Featuring all ten of his symphonies as well as the Lied der Erde, the masterpieces were performed in chronological order by one of the world’s greatest orchestras under some of the world’s greatest conductors. In this installment, Daniel Harding conducts the First Symphony.
Composed between 1885 and 1888, the Symphony No.1 originally included five movements. In 1893, the moniker by which it would soon come to be known appeared for the first time: “Titan, symphonic poem in the form of a symphony”. A year later, Mahler removed one movement, at which point the symphony took on its definitive four-movement structure. The work is Mahler’s most popular symphony, beloved for its perfect mixture of simplicity and originality and its innovative approach to the grand symphonic tradition.
Lucerne Festival 2009