54 of 56 people found the following review helpful
An underrated Mahler conductor.,
This review is from: Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 1 / Songs of a Wayfarer - Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau / Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra / Rafael Kubelik (Audio CD)
If you want over-the-top hysteria (not necessarily a bad thing at times with Mahler), go with Bernstein. If you're looking for more conservative but still committed performances you can listen to again and again, Kubelik's your guy. He underplays the drama slightly, and while the result is still passionate, it's also solid, stable, and infinitely satisfying. Kubelik makes you more aware of Mahler's musical genius, where other conductors might focus more on the drama.
The orchestra might be a little thin in the strings, but they speak with Mahler's "voice" in a way that few other orchestras are able to capture -- there is a slightly rustic quality to their sound that captures the open air quality of Mahler's music. And they respond very well to Kubelik's sober but passionate direction. The brass and woodwinds, always important in Mahler, are superb.
Maybe not the most dramatic Mahler you've ever heard, but certainly among the most musical. It's the version of the 1st that gets put in my CD player most often. The price is right; remastering is expert.
You just can't go wrong with Kubelik and Mahler.