For me to rehearse with a children's orchestra a Mahler symphony was to really work. We had three or four weeks of rehearsal with the orchestra, every day eight or nine hours, putting the First together. I had been conducting Tchaikovsky a lot and Beethoven, but Mahler was different.
A friend gave me a CD of the 'Pathetique' Symphony as a Christmas present. I went home, and I put on the CD expecting to listen to Tchaikovsky. But it started 'ta ta ta taaa.' It was too long for me. I didn't understand it at first, but then I fell in love, in love, in love.