- Symphony No. 1 in D major ("Titan")
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.