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Mahler: Symphony No. 1, “Titan,” Excerpt

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: It's a roller coaster ride of musical moods

For many lovers of classical music, the music of Mahler can be a bit of an acquired taste. This is perhaps because when one listens to a Mahler symphony, they are in for a true rollercoaster ride of moods and emotions in one piece. Mahler accomplishes this through a wide range of techniques, including slipping in upbeat folk tunes in the middle of solemn musical moments. Take this example from his 1st Symphony, the “Titan.” After several minutes of dark musical drones, a light-hearted tune breaks out and begins to make its way through the orchestra. This catchy tune is actually one of the many instances of Mahler recycling his music in other works, for it is the tune from the 2nd movement of his first song cycle, the Songs of a Wayfarer.

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