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Mahler: Symphony No. 1

Rate It! Avg: 4.0 (42 ratings)
Mahler: Symphony No. 1 album cover
Symphony No. 1: Langsam. Schleppend – Im Anfang gemächlich
Symphony No. 1: Kräftig bewegt, doch nicht zu schnell – Trio: Recht gemächlich – Tempo primo
Symphony No. 1: Feierlich und gemessen, ohne zu schleppen
Symphony No. 1: Stürmisch bewegt
Album Information

Total Tracks: 4   Total Length: 52:41

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Wondering Sound

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Jayson Greene


Jayson Greene is Senior Editor at Wondering Sound and a contributing writer and columnist at Pitchfork. His writing has also appeared in The New York Times, GQ,...more »

Valery Gergiev, London Symphony Orchestra, Mahler: Symphony No. 1
2008 | Label: LSO Live / The Orchard

Mahler is mostly remembered as a tortured soul, forever at odds with the audiences and critical establishment of his day. It can be surprising, then, for casual listeners to discover how much beatific contentment can be found in his music. These short-lived moments of peace are inevitably swept aside, but they are made all the more sublime for their fragility. Take, for instance, the opening to his First Symphony, which is rendered here by the… read more »

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Adequate performance


I found myself feeling fairly neutral about this performance, but then, it's a piece I know very well from having played it. Some of the phrasing in the first movement sounded disjointed to me. I just wasn't able to get excited about the performance as a whole. There were good moments, but I think there are other performances I prefer more. This is personal taste, though. The performance was technically fine, for the most part.

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A bit rushed but still atmospheric


I think Gergiev seems determined to avoid wallowing or being self-indulgent, and I found the first movement a bit fast, in spite of lovely bird calls and atmosphere at the start. A great finale. An enjoyable performance with good sound.

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A Big Disappointment


To me, this symphony reminds me of the awakening of spring after a long winter. Birds singing, flowers blooming, everything coming back to life. This recording, however, sounds colorless and lifeless, as if everyone concerned couldn't wait for it to be over. Instead, try Klaus Tennstedt's version with The London Philharmonic.

eMusic Features


Valery Gergiev

By Jayson Greene, Senior Editor

Calling Valery Gergiev "the world's busiest man" has become a classical-music-business cliché, but the force of its truth smacks you afresh when you enter his orbit. Interviewing Gergiev is a bit like awaiting an audience with the Pope, or arranging a meeting with someone living under the Federal Witness Protection Program. His mere passage seems to leave ripples in the air. It is only through a flurry of continual emails and phone calls with his… more »