Gustav Mahler (1860 – 1911) was an Austro-Bohemian composer and conductor from the late Romantic period of music. Today’s piece, the Symphony No. 1 in D major was mainly composed between late 1887 and March 1888.
The extract is from the start of the fourth movement.
Things to listen out for:
- The introduction consisting of an abrupt cymbal crash, a loud chord in the upper woodwinds, string and brass, and a timpani roll, all in succession.
- Fanfares in the brass section
The symphony is scored for a very large orchestra, consisting of the following:
- Woodwinds – 4 flutes, 4 oboes, 4 clarinets, 3 bassoons
- Brass – 7 horns, 5 trumpets, 4 trombones, 1 tuba
- Percussion – 6 timpani, 1 bass drum, cymbals, triangle, tam-tam
- Strings – 1 harp, 1st violins, 2nd violins, violas, cellos, double basses