'''Symphony No. 1 in D minor''', written between 1898 and 1902, is a good example of how Ives learned from composers before him. Many of his later symphonies relied on Protestant hymns as the main theme. However, this symphony is composed in the late-Romantic European tradition, and is believed to contain many paraphrases from famous European pieces such as Tchaikovsky's ''Pathétique'' and Schubert's ''Unfinished'' symphonies and especially Dvo\u0159ák's ''New World Symphony''.
The piece is scored for 2 flutes, 2 oboes, cor anglais, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani and strings. There is also an optional part for a third flute.
There are four movements:
*Adagio molto (Sostenuto)
A typical performance lasts around 40 minutes.
The second movement is believed to be a tribute to Dvo\u0159ák's famous Largo in the ''New World Symphony''. Ives uses an cor anglais for a melody that is very similar to the cor anglais melody in the Dvo\u0159ák, and changed the rhythm slightly to make the melody his own. This paraphrasing and quotation was typical of Ives as a composer. He often used familiar melodies (ranging from ragtime pieces, Protestant hymns, and Negro spirituals) to help the audience recognize how these tunes could be changed and developed in ways they had never heard.