The composer Gustav Mahler once said, “A symphony must be like the world. It must contain everything.” If that is so, then Mahler’s second symphony, the “Resurrection,” is bigger, even, than that.
Mahler had already tackled big questions in an orchestral work, called Funeral Rites. He played it on the piano for Hans von Bülow, and the conductor said that it made Wagner's Tristan und Isolde sound like Haydn. Mahler turned Funeral Rites into the first movement of his Resurrection symphony.