Mahler’s first symphony, first performed in 1889 is rather short for a Mahler symphony. Only his fourth is even shorter. This recording is the second one Haitink made with the Concertgebouw Orchestra, in 1972.
In 1966 a Yale musicologist discovered a missing part that was used in the first three performances. It was called Blumine (flower piece), and was played after the first part. Some recordings have it, some don’t. The ones that have it are also playing the revised version of this symphony Mahler wrote a few years later. In a way they’re playing something that Mahler never meant.
Nevertheless, the missing part is important, because in all versions, it is cited in the fourth and last part of the symphony. Like Beethoven before him, Mahler is recapitulating earlier parts of his work in the finale.
I always liked this symphony, and I love the recording. Even though the quality of the record itself is not that good anymore: it is so bad at places that my record player skips every now and then.