Mariss Jansons conducts: Mahler - Smyphony No. 1

The new recording by BR-KLASSIK of Mahler's First Symphony with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, conducted by Mariss Jansons in 2007, is a CD premiere as this recording has so far only been published as a bonus CD within the audio biography of Gustav Mahler "Welt und Traum" (BR-KLASSIK 900901).

“The first symphony actually contains everything that will characterize him later on; here we can already hear the sounds of the life-melody that he brings to the highest fruition: the devotion to nature, and thoughts of death.” That was fellow composer Schoenberg’s verdict on Gustav Mahler (1860-1911). Mahler had discovered this “life melody” before his symphonic debut, however, in his “Songs of a Wayfarer”. He used a part of them again for his Symphony No. 1 – a work which, at its premiere in 1889 in Budapest, was not as initially successful as he had hoped. As a result, in later performances, Mahler added programmatic explanations and the title “Titan”. After the composer had discarded a movement entitled Bluminenkapitel, or “Flower Chapter”, the symphony finally celebrated its triumph in the concert halls of the world without any title or programme, as a four-movement work. The Mahler tradition at the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks was established in the early 1960s with performances conducted by Rafael Kubelik, and the symphonies by the Late Romantic composer on the threshold of modernity have been part of the orchestra’s fixed repertoire ever since.

The 2007 recording that has now been re-issued by BR-KLASSIK of Mahler’s First Symphony, with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks under its chief conductor Mariss Jansons, can be regarded as a CD premiere – in that this recording has only so far been available as a bonus CD forming part of the audio biography of Gustav Mahler “World and Dream” (BR-KLASSIK 900901).

This new release (BR-KLASSIK CD 900179) is thus aimed primarily at listeners eager to experience Mahler’s First Symphony under Mariss Jansons who would prefer to purchase the orchestral work separately from the audio biography.

Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Mariss Jansons, conductor

CD BR-KLASSIK 900179
Booklet: in German  / in Englisch
Total Time: 54’25 min


  • The Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks has a longstanding Mahler tradition
  • This is the first release of the Symphony No. 1 conducted by Mariss Jansons as a separate single CD
  • A classic for beginners, suitable for anyone making their first contact with Mahler’s symphonic oeuvre