Remember this one? Muti, to his everlasting credit, has not recorded much Mahler. Truth be told, this orchestra knows the First Symphony quite well, and has already left us a very good RCA recording under Ormandy (including the “Blumine” movement). This one, though, is even better. There’s nothing eccentric or especially unusual about it: just an ideally paced, magnificently played, and very well recorded performance. Muti brings to the symphony his typical mix of passion of precision, nowhere more so than at the opening of the finale (sound clip), which truly does bring to the music Mahler’s “strongest vehemence.”
The funeral march, too, while on the slow side, has plenty of atmosphere and a genuinely spooky quality. And asRead more long as we’re working backwards, the scherzo has more rustic guts than many a more famous version, and the first movement emerges from its pre-dawn silence with perfect naturalness. It’s impossible not to love that special, “woodsy” sound of the Philadelphia horn section, never mind the tactile body to the string tone. In short, this really is one of the best Mahler Firsts around, and it’s all the more valuable given that it’s not part of a complete symphony cycle.
-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
Reviewing EMI 764287 Read less
Works on This Recording
Symphony no 1 in D major "Titan"by Gustav Mahler