The both first movements are in the tragic and gloomy keys of c-sharp minor resp. a minor; The only programmatic indication, Trauermarsch (funeral march), is found in the first movement. The silence is broken by the solitary fanfare of a trumpet which is one of the three main themes of this movement.
Out of this comes the melancholy and heavy funeral march dominated by the strings; the woodwind players introduce the third theme in the key of a flat major thus lighting up the gloom in a charming way, but the calmly flowing motion, after other rapid fanfares, is suddenly interrupted by a wild and dramatic interlude.
The returning to the second theme is followed by a reedition of the charming third theme this time in the key of b flat minor. Another interlude in a minor follows hinting the theme of the second movement and ends in a desperate climax. The dramatic and exciting movement is closed by a solitary trumpet signal and its flute echo, the final point is set by a single pizzicato tone of cellos and basses.
Year 1905. 11-03-1905 Musical quotation from the start of Symphony No. 5, Hamburg. Movement 1: Trauermarsch (Funeral March). In gemessenem Schritt. Streng. Wie ein Kondukt.
“V. Symph. Gustav Mahler Hamburg 11. MÄRZ 1905”.
Comprising the first five bars of the trumpet call at the start of the first movement funeral march [“Trauermarsch”], in black ink, here notated at sounding pitch on C sharp, without dynamics. 1 page, oblong 8vo (11.7 x 18.5cm), Hamburg, 11 March 1905.
Part I: Score trumpet solo Movement 1: Trauermarsch (Funeral March). In gemessenem Schritt. Streng. Wie ein Kondukt.