Mahler's First Symphony
With the work that marks the beginning of his symphonic career
(predicted earlier by his cantata Das klagende Lied and song-cycle
Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen) Mahler joins the ranks of
late-Romantic symphony composers, alongside - his seniors Bruckner,
Brahms, Tchaikovsky and Dvořák - and his contemporary Richard Strauss.
Symphony No. 1 in D-major was composed between 1884-1888, receiving
its premiere on 20th November 1889 in Budapest.
Jean Sibelius - Valse triste
This work of the greatest Finnish composer has won enormous and fully
deserved popularity. Written in 1903, as stage music to a play by A.
Järnefelt entitled Death, it is arguably, the shortest tone poem by
this great symphonist. Animated with a rhythm of dance, which played
such an enormous role in 19th century music culture, it exudes
romantic charm, evokes an atmosphere of the epoch and recalls in its
bawdily nostalgic manner, the spirit and aura of romanticism. As
suggested by the title, it is a sad waltz. Consequently it stems from
the traditional waltz of a deeply melancholic genre, formulated by
Chopin in his dance poems in minor keys and later continued and
developed by Tchaikovsky.