A transitional season for the Utah Symphony saw the arrival of new music director Thierry Fischer. The season concludes with a symphony the title of which, thanks to the composer, seemed to be in perpetual transition.
Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 in D major is known by the popular title Titan, presumed to be a reference to the popular early 19th-century German novel by Johan “Jean Paul” Richter. But the designation was used only by Mahler himself for performances during the course of a couple of years, before and after which he more commonly referred to the work as a “tone poem” or “symphonic poem.” It clearly draws on popular art from a variety of sources, however, with themes echoing the tune of “Frere Jacques” and German romantic folk-song cycles.
Guest conductor Carlo Rizzi leads the symphony in this wide-ranging and enigmatic work, with the program also including Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 17, featuring soloist Jean Louis Steuerman.