Classical Music Playlist, July 7, 2023


In Gustav Mahler’s day, audiences didn’t really know what to make of his Symphony No. 1. Was it telling a story? Why is it all over the place? It’s so long; did he not know when to stop composing? Mahler said that its overall narrative describes “a strong, heroic man, his life and sufferings, his battles and defeat at the hands of Fate.”

With that in mind, Mahler gave the premise of the symphony broken down as the first three movements with spring, happy dreams, and a wedding procession; the fourth is a funeral march. Born on this date in 1860, we’re celebrating Gustav Mahler with some of his music throughout the day, including his complete (56 minute) Symphony No. 1 for today’s Midday Masterpiece.

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