Mahler: Symphony No. 1

The finale is a triumphant conclusion to this recording. Bychkov and the Czech Philharmonic here achieve an impressive and climactic expressiveness that touches the listener deeply, almost lifting him off his feet.

Online Merker, 7 September 2023

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Semyon Bychkov, conductor


The Czech Philharmonic and Music Director, Semyon Bychkov, continue their acclaimed Mahler cycle with the composer’s First Symphony, one of the most evocative and colourful symphonic debuts in the history of the genre. Mahler once famously said that “a symphony should be like the world, it should encompass everything.” In his First Symphony, he creates just such a world, filled with animal sounds, hunting horns, rural dances, klezmer bands and allusions to his own songs and folk song melodies such as Frère Jacques. These elements all function within a highly subjective, immersive symphonic drama, providing a blueprint for most of his symphonies to come. Semyon Bychkov and the Czech Philharmonic approach the composer’s firstling with their esteemed eye for detail and pacing, matched by their unmistakably Bohemian sound.

The Czech Philharmonic is one of the world’s orchestral gems, recognised for its rich tradition with the Czech masters as well as European repertoire. Semyon Bychkov who is internationally renowned for his interpretations of the core repertoire, began his tenure with the Orchestra at the start of the 2018/19 season. Their recording of Mahler’s First Symphony follows Mahler’s Fourth and Fifth Symphonies (both 2022) and the Second Symphony (2023), part of the complete Mahler cycle to be released by Pentatone.



Mahler: Symphony No. 1 
I. Langsam, schleppend – Immer sehr gemächlich
II. Kräftig bewegt, doch nicht zu schnell
III. Feierlich und gemessen, ohne zu schleppen
IV. Stürmisch bewegt