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 Announcement, Universal Edition: Gustav Mahler's Titan

Until this year Titan, the early five-movement version of Mahler's Symphony No. 1, had never been published. In conjunction with the Mahler Complete New Critical Edition, Universal Edition is proud to make this score available for the first time. The publication contains the history of its genesis, reviews of the performances in Hamburg and Weimar, a discussion of the programmes and the underlying ideas behind the work, colour prints of significant sources, and an extensive critical commentary that describes the variants, problematic passages and all editorial additions.

Mahler and Universal Edition

MahlerMahler's early works were published by Waldheim, Weingartner, and Doblinger, who were all founding members of Universal Edition. They all transferred rights, engraver's plates, and printed inventory to the new publisher (including Mahler's first four symphonies and Das klagende Lied). Therefore, Universal Edition was able to amalgamate Mahler as part of its catalogue before an actual collaboration with the composer happened.

In 1909, direct contact between Universal Edition and Gustav Mahler was established, just two years before the composer’s death. Founded in 1901, at this point the publisher was a newcomer on the Austrian music scene. The eventual co-operation was thanks to Emil Hertzka, who was elected to the Supervisory Board in 1907, and named its director in 1909. In June of that year, Hertzka signed an initial contract with Mahler, acquiring the rights to his Symphony No. 8; the publisher acquired Symphony No. 9 and Das Lied von der Erde the following year. The fact that Mahler’s works have now become commercially as well as artistically successful is an indication of how positively his reception has developed, certainly thanks to Universal Edition's tireless efforts on his behalf.

Mahler Titan

TitanMany present-day concerts and recordings of Mahler’s First Symphony adopt the title Titan, but in reality the composer himself performed it as such only twice. Mahler composed the work in early 1888 in Leipzig, where he experienced his first success as a composer by completing Carl Maria von Weber’s unfinished opera Die drei Pintos, during which he fell passionately in love with the wife of Weber’s grandson. Marion von Weber inspired him to resume the composition of large-scale original works, which he had not done since his youthful cantata Das klagende Lied of 1880.

The result was a five-movement Symphonic Poem in two parts that Mahler premiered in November 1889 in Budapest, where he had become director of the Royal Hungarian Opera. It was poorly received. Following his move to Hamburg, Mahler substantially revised the work, entitling it Titan: A Tone Poem in Symphony Form and adding some of the now well-known titles to the five movements in the freshly copied autograph manuscript. This performance was only marginally more successful than the Budapest premiere.

Titan was originally scored for triple winds, four horns, four trumpets, three trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion (triangle, Turkish cymbals, bass drum) harp, and strings. He began revising the instrumentation almost immediately; by the time of the second performance in Weimar in 1894, he had expanded the orchestra by three horns, an additional oboe and Eb clarinet, and tam-tam. While the audience reaction in Weimar was mixed, the reviews were almost entirely negative, with several critics underscoring the disparity between the programmatic commentary and the course of the music, and the bizarre nature of the last two movements (Funeral March and Finale). Mahler subsequently dropped the descriptive titles, discarded the ‘Blumine’ movement, further revised the instrumentation, and thereafter performed the work as Symphony in D major for large orchestra.

Purchase Mahler's Titan below

Full Score for Large Orchestra

Based on the New Critical Complete Edition by the Internationale Gustav Mahler Gesellschaft Wien. With a preface by Stephen Hefling in German and English, and a bibliography and a detailed critical report in English. A German/English glossary lists Gustav Mahler's performance indications and instruments.

Available Format: Sheet Music

Score (Supplement Band V)

This first edition of Titan includes the history of its genesis, reviews of the Hamburg and Weimar performances, a discussion of the programs and underlying ideas of the work, color illustrations of significant sources, and an extensive critical report that details variants, problematic passages, and all editorial interpolations.

Available Format: Sheet Music

Study Score

Study Score.

Available Format: Sheet Music