Mahler: Symphony No. 1 (Baltimore Symphony Orchestra/ Marin Alsop) (Naxos: 8.572207)
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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 Landler. The disturbing slow movement funeral march, based on the children's song Frere Jacques
, is unlike anything that had been heard before, and the symphony concludes with music of thrilling dramatic intensity.Marin Alsop
has been Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
since 2007, a relationship now extended to 2015. Currently Conductor Emeritus of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
and Music Director Laureate of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra
, since 1992 she has also been Music Director of California's prize-winning Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music.