Mahler’s Symphony No.1 is remarkably original for a composer’s first symphonic work. Beginning life as a symphonic poem, the work still maintains a sense of its extra-musical backdrop and reflects Mahler’s view that ‘a symphony must be like the world, it must embrace everything’. With its evocative, primordial opening, the slow movement’s funeral march and the presence of Mahler-composed song tunes, the work is indicative of Mahler’s musical style, teeming with innovative ideas and is one of the best pieces to acquaint newcomers with the composer’s unique sound. Before this Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4, the last of the concertos to be performed by the composer who initially found fame as a virtuoso pianist.