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About This Performance

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With its tunefulness and exciting fanfares, Mahler’s First is one of his most popular. Begun when he was only 24, the symphony boasts many unusual features that contributed to its poor reception when it premiered in 1894. For example, the third movement, which functions as the “slow” movement of this four-movement symphony, begins with a solo bass in its upper register playing a minor-key version of the children’s round “Frère Jacques.” This section was inspired by a famous woodcut of forest creatures in a funeral procession for the hunter.

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