- Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra
- Conductor: Valery Gergiev
- Audio CD (June 10, 2008)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Hybrid SACD - DSD
- Label: Lso Live UK
- ASIN: B0017TZ92W
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #463,004 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
Mahler: Symphony No. 1
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Mahler: Symphony No. 1
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Mahler completed his first symphony at the age of 24 and the work was considered a remarkable achievement, especially for someone so young. The symphony was originally conceived as a tone poem in the form of a symphony. Mahler drew inspiration from nature and described the epic final movement as a journey `from inferno to paradise'.
`The result, with the LSO playing with marvellous expressiveness and energy, is irresistible, at once disciplined and joyfully spontaneous' -- Sunday Times (UK)
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Top customer reviews
I can't recommend it highly enough.
It's a pity I can't thank Mr. Horenstein personally, because he is not alive. But his Art will stay forever.
There are many great Firsts to listen to gainfully. Kubelik comes immediately to mind as first rank, Solti too. Historically I would say Mitroupoulos and Walter.
This is a very gentle, pastoral reading of the symphony, more sombre and reflective than I like it to be; the introduction is slow and dreamy and the movement overall is some three minutes slower than competitive versions from Kubelik and Barbirolli. Progress is deliberate and menacing but never very inspiring. The Scherzo is rustic and heavy without conjuring up the humour Barbirolli finds at a similar tempo, the third movement is gloomy and lacking in bite. The attack of the opening of the finale begins to compensate for that but the generally rather distant, ploggy, soft-edged sound diminishes its impact and the playing soon defaults into the same leisurely style which characterises the three preceding movements, culminating in a ponderous climax. As with the first movement, its overall timing is some two or three minutes longer than other,preferred recordings - and a full five minutes longer than Boult's breathless and thrilling account.
For those who somehow have not gotten around to Horenstein's masterpiece with the LSO, simply listen to it, and be transported into a special drama.
Horenstein's first movement is like no other. It is a darker vision that is personal, at the same time that is epic. It is full of mystery, but most importantly, foreboding. Where so many other versions stumble through in an ungainly fashion, or race ahead too quickly, Horenstein's wayfarer awakens gradually, then steps bravely out to a very troubled landscape. The tempo is slow, yet it is right. This is true to Mahler's score, which calls for "schleppend"---dragging, or reluctance. The suspense that unfolds is buth sunlit and full of shadows and terror, near and far. Those familiar with the Mahler might recall the story about him being left in the woods by his father for hours. Horenstein captures the sound of this mood. The second movement that is robust, charming and wonderfully pointed. It has never been played better. Then we come to another unique Horenstein moment: a trenchant, very sinister funeral march. There is bitterness, bite and calculated ugliness here, that few interpreters have mastered. Horenstein's version is a true funeral march, with a quicker march rhythm, not a wandering glacial meditation as played by many. The fourth movement rips the heavens, more impressively than any other interpretation, and after a poignant interlude, Horenstein ends with a huge, satisfying finale with a unique rhetorical flourish that is glorious.
This is a definitive performance. For literalists who seek great orchestral play it's here. For those who want expression and drama, it is here in abundance.
This recording belongs in every Mahler collection. It is worth every dollar.