Notes and Editorial Reviews
...you should hear this—another live performance, far more imaginative, atmospheric and tangible than Abbado's studio account with the Chicago Symphony (DG)... A quite extraordinary pianopianissimo sets the scene here. Every sound, every dynamic, adds to a heightened sense of expectation. Our wayfarer is relaxed and contented (who wouldn't be in the hands of the Berlin Philharmonic cellos?), a little subtle rubato coaxing the theme along like gestures of affection. Abbado's natureworld is fragrant indeed: listen to the muted horns before fig. 15 (9'52" onwards). Very beautiful, but just a shade self-conscious--as are the assorted tugs and ritardandos (all scrupulously chronicled by Mahler) in the long, slow crescendo to the climax of
the movement... Parody is of course the order of the day in the bitter-sweet third movement, and here I think Abbado and his Berliners get the balance just right—gently grotesque in the funereal round, quirky in the café music, and prettily wistful (a real stories-around-the-fireside feel) as muted divisi violins steal in with the second subject. Marvellous refinement of texture throughout.
In the finale...Abbado begins arrestingly—shrieks of alarm from the high woodwinds, a real buzz of bow on string in the violins' feverish two octave ascent to tremolando high C. ...[H]e...adopt[s] a deliberate, even emphatic approach to this tumultuous allegro... Abbado...allows the great second subject to breathe in all the right places and [is] unforgettable as Mahler, the hero, alive to greet another dawn, takes that long backward glance just prior to the coda...
-- Gramophone [10/1991]
Works on This Recording
Symphony no 1 in D major "Titan" by Gustav Mahler
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Date of Recording: 12/1989
Venue: Live Philharmonie, Berlin
Length: 54 Minutes 43 Secs.
Notes: Composition written: Leipzig, Germany (1888).
Composition revised: Germany (1896).
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