He began writing the first symphony during his final year of school in 1899 and finished the work in 1900. It is solidly cast in the tradition of Russian symphonies by Tchaikovsky. Glière especially shines in his use of the orchestra. There are some that discount Glière as a symphonist, but I disagree. At the very least he wrote with a firm orchestral and compositional technique, and his earliest symphony is a pleasure to listen to, even if it doesn't hit the depths or the heights. He only wrote three symphonies with his last one being his masterpiece, Symphony No. 3 Ilya Muromets.
Symphony No. 1 in E-flat is in 4 movements:
II. Allegro molto vivace - The second movement is a scherzo written in 5 beats to the bar:
III. Andante - A slow (but not too slow) lyrical melody in G minor with a Russian flavor begins the movement. It slowly unwinds, slightly ebbs and flows until it melts into another gentle theme played by the oboe. The first theme is elaborated on, the music continues to unwind and Glière shows how well he learned about the orchestra from Ippolitov-Ivanov. The music reaches a climax shortly before the end. It dies down after that to a poignant end.
IV. Finale : Allegro - A short introduction by the horns and orchestra before the rapid dance tune begins. The second theme is right in keeping with the mood of the movement. The development section begins straight away with a motive played from the first theme. The music gets a little more intense as the first them continues to be developed. The horns play the secondary theme as the woodwinds chirp an accompaniment. After the rather straight-forward (but pleasant) development, the first dance tune appears in full to begin the recapitulation. The second theme appears, the music comments on the opening of the first theme, and the movement ends.