Dawn at Titan's Home

Mahler 1 ‘Titan’ 1st Movement

In his book Why Mahler, Norman Lebrecht opens,

The landscape in high summer is a wash of gold and green. The harvest is ready for reaping, and the hillsides are in leaf, the forests thick and dark as a warrior's beard. There are blue lakes in the glades and ruined castles, magical haunts for a solitary boy. Birdcalls in the pine above are punctuated with inblown wafts of cowbells, coach horns, and tavern bands. This is the land that gave birth to Mahler, the landscape that infuses his music, the view he will call to mind each summer as he sits down to compose.

Paintings let us see this world the way it used to be, through their artists' interpretations. Sometimes, music lets us hear the world it used to sound like. According to the composer David Matthews, he could hear the opening of Mahler's First Symphony in “the wind whistling through the trees…”. This time, our curiosity brought us to Kalischt, a forest outside the town of Mahler's birthplace, where song emerges from cuckoos, and the sun illuminates the greenery for a day ahead to come.