Mahler: Symphony No. 1

Mahler: Symphony No. 1

by Yoel Levi
     
 

There's obviously strong competition among recordings of Mahler's First Symphony, but Yoel Levi's version with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is a genuine contender. It's a lovingly played and gracefully directed performance, to be sure, and duly stormy in the final movement. Also, it's one of the few recordings that includes Blumine,See more details below

Overview

There's obviously strong competition among recordings of Mahler's First Symphony, but Yoel Levi's version with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is a genuine contender. It's a lovingly played and gracefully directed performance, to be sure, and duly stormy in the final movement. Also, it's one of the few recordings that includes Blumine, a lyrical movement that was placed before the scherzo in the 1893 version of the score. The composer may have tightened the symphony by excising Blumine, but experiencing the work in both its forms will provide the Mahler fan with valuable insights. What really sets Levi's recording apart, however, is Telarc's vividly engineered recording, which seems almost seismographically sensitive to the smallest tremor of sound. The pensive, glistening string harmonics of the opening set the tone, hovering in the air and ushering in the symphony like an awe-inspiring premonition. With a full and finely gradated dynamic range, and great definition given both to individual soloists and blocks of orchestral sound, this recording is an extremely impressive achievement both in detail and in its overall effect.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Blair Sanderson
Of a handful of recordings of Mahler's "Symphony No. 1 in D major, Titan," to include the rejected "Blumine," this rendition by Yoel Levi and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is one of the more successfully thought-through, even though the use of the extra movement remains questionable. Whether or not this short Andante adds anything material to the symphony is secondary to how it serves -- or disserves -- the work's overall trajectory. Ordinarily, the first movement builds up a momentum that should push steadily on to the robust Scherzo. However, with "Blumine" interjected between the first movement and the Scherzo, the energy seems dissipated too soon, and this pretty intermezzo becomes irrelevant to the work's structural and expressive needs. Yet Levi seems to make this idyll fit by taking the first movement's energy down a notch, and by using "Blumine"'s sentimentality as a mood setter to a mellower Scherzo, keeps all three movements roughly in the same emotional world. This is a matter of taste, and many who would enjoy a really vigorous first half of this symphony will find Levi's low-key interpretation a bit unsatisfying, even if it is coherently planned. Fortunately, there is sufficient tension in the Funeral March and fury in the Finale to compensate for the slow build up, and listeners who make it to the end will find the peaks and troughs of the conclusion worth getting past the first half hour. Audiophiles, of course, will love the high-fidelity DSD sound, which is extraordinary by any measure.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/27/2000
Label:
Telarc
UPC:
0089408054525
catalogNumber:
80545
Rank:
236504

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Symphony No. 1 in D major ("Titan")  - Gustav Mahler  -  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra  - Anilda Carrasquillo  - Ralph Jones  - Yoel Levi  -  Robert Woods  - Jim Burt  -  Christopher Martin

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Yoel Levi   Primary Artist

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