Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Gustav Mahler, Yoel Levi, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra|
Mahler: Symphony No. 1 "Titan"
As the latest installment in the Mahler cycle of Telarc, Yoel Levi, and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra , here is the composer's First Symphony, named Titan. Originally Mahler conceived this work in five movements, but late... more »
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As the latest installment in the Mahler cycle of Telarc, Yoel Levi, and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra , here is the composer's First Symphony, named Titan. Originally Mahler conceived this work in five movements, but later dropped the second, andante movement. Known as "Blumine," it is often played apart from the symphony, its 7-minute length being just right as a curtain raiser. Here, Levi has replaced it in its original order, and it's good to have; if the listener doesn't want it, it can be skipped or the CD player programmed to play the disc without it. The recorded sound is spotless, and the performance has a great deal to recommend it. Levi is a clearheaded leader, and he rarely imposes a personal agenda on Mahler; it's neither as icy as Boulez's approach nor as gut-wrenching as Bernstein's. In fact, up until the final moments of the work, this is a magical reading--near the very end, just when Mahler goes over the top into the type of ecstasy only he can reach, Levi seems to hold back--a simple uptake of tempi would have driven this CD to the head of the list of Mahler Firsts. As it stands, it's pretty glorious--there's no need to be obsessive about it, really. Highly recommended. --Robert Levine
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A very good performance of the Titan
Trevor Gillespie | San Jose, California United States | 08/24/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The recording captures all of Mahler's sound effects splendidly. The orchestra playing is brilliant. The dynamics are wide ranging. Tempos are carefully chosen. Emotion and attention to detail are evident throughout. HOWEVER, my main drawback to this recording is the final movement. Everything seems just right up until that time. Someone in an earlier post used the word deliberate in explaining Levi's approach to tempo here in the last movement. I don't know whether this was deliberate or just how he envisioned the work to be, but the last movement is too slow. To use a metaphor, Levi is the hose that puts out the fire. Perhaps I am just too accustomed to L. Bernstein's approach of burn the barn down and everything within 50 miles too. However, I do know that this recording doesn't have that punch that you hope for in Mahler's First Symphony. Does that make it not worthy of a recommendation? No. It is a very good performance. Just remember as you listen to the first 4 movements (which actually build up quite well to the final movement) that perhaps you won't be as taken as you could be with another recording."
Fine Mahler 1ST
David Gottner | 10/10/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First off, engineering-wise this is the best Mahler 1ST on record. This is the closest that I've ever heard of **any** recording to bringing the concert hall to your living room. The bass is brought out very well, and when those bass drums go, your may jump, even at relatively low volume listening levels. The clarity is just astonishing, and has the Bernstein version on DG beat by a mile in terms of recording quality. (not an easy thing to do, as the DG version is also an excellent recording.) I'm definitely now on the lookout for more good Telarc "DSD" recordings!The performance is also very strong, and as a bonus Mahler's original second movement (which he later deleted) is included. I don't think that the restored movement really belongs in the symphony, and it's not one of Mahler's best slow movements anyway, but it's there for the curious. (and if you don't like it, you can program your CD player to skip over it.)In comparison to the DG version conducted by Bernstein (the only serious digital competition), I perfer Bernstein's version to this one. However Levi does a better job on the inner movements than Bernstein, particularily the 3RD movement ("Frere Jacques") where Levi captures that bittersweet mood much better than Bernstein. However, I prefer the outer movements of the Bernstein recording - the first movement evokes nature more clearly (IMO) in the Bernstein version, though this is splitting hairs, and the final movement is just a heck of a lot more exciting and satisfying with Bernstein at the helm (as another reviewer also mentioned.)"
A fine recording as Levi leaves Atlanta
W. R. Whittle | Cornelius, NC USA | 07/24/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As Levi moves on to the Flemish Radio Orchestra amid controversy, both he and Telarc have left us with a first rate recording of the Mahler 1st, with the rarely included Blumine movement to boot. Though not exactly loved by many of the Atlanta symphony musicians, he has provided a performance that communicates the score almost as well as any of the more revered conductors' efforts. The pacing throughout the orchestra is well-conceived, as it was in his recent recording of the Mahler 4th. Only the last movement seemed somewhat deliberate, but does conclude in rousing fashion literally lifting me out of my seat. Even though you may own many other fine recordings of this work (e.g. Bernstein on DGG, Horenstein, Walter), I wager you will hear more the work than you've heard before, and not just because of the additional movement. Don't delay!"