Release Date: 07/23/2007
Rca Victor Red Seal
Catalog #: 0894
Spars Code: ADD Composer: Gustav Mahler Conductor: James Levine Orchestra/Ensemble: London Symphony Orchestra Number of Discs: 1
Recorded in: Stereo
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Time flies in the supposedly timeless world of classical music. It's easy to forget superb performances of even the greatest masterpieces when confronted with dozens, indeed hundreds, of recordings that differ from one another audibly, but often not all that significantly. So it is with this Mahler First, certainly one of the freshest and most vibrant performances, but one that also tends to get lost in the shuffle. The playing of the LSO is terrific: the scherzo bids fair to be the best on disc, but then Levine seems unusually energized and spontaneous throughout. Only the opening of the finale fails to erupt with the kind of violence that others (Bernstein especially) bring to it. Levine seems a mite hasty here, not giving the brassRead more enough time to really bite as they should. But this also is the result of sonics that are dry in the bass and not all that wide-ranging compared with today's digital norm. Still, despite this minor caveat, this is an outstanding performance in all other respects, and moreover one that will sound well on iPods, in cars, and in all of those places where soft passages tend to vanish annoyingly in a welter of ambient noise. It certainly deserves to remain available, and thanks to Arkivmusic.com "on demand", it will be.
Mahler symphony no.1March 13, 2013By Terry F. (Custer Park, IL)See All My Reviews"I think this recording and the old RCA recording by Leinsdorf and BSO are by far the best made of this great work. The recordings are powerful and precise. The eerie, macabre, and pantheistic nature of the work is well interpreted."Report Abuse