Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Mahler, Boult, Lpo|
Listen to Samples
Mahler to live with
Mr. Ian A. Macfarlane | Fife, Scotland | 01/08/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This CD reissues an LP from 1958, originally on British World Record Club and Everest. Jascha Horenstein had been engaged to conduct the LPO in the work in the Albert Hall but was ill. Boult, who could do almost anything at a moment's notice, deputised, and the LP was made afterwards. I remember a review of the concert describing the performance as the loudest Mahler 1 the reviewer had ever heard. It is very powerful, and it has good Mahlerian atmosphere in 1 and 4. The scherzo/landler ('kraftig bewegt') is fast and bouncy, but really a little unyielding - I take off a star for that. However, this performance does give continuing pleasure - you can live with it. It's faithful and very musical, and the symphony sounds fresh and involving throughout."
Boult and Mahler
Mr. Ian A. Macfarlane | 06/25/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This recording came as a bit of a surprise; I had previously only known Boult for his excellent recordings of "The Planets" and other British compositions. I acquired this recording to see what a new mind could bring to this much-played symphony. I was not disappointed, as the performance was quite involving and lucid, and Boult not afraid to bring out the climaxes while still keeping the interludes interesting. Despite being recorded in 1958, it still boasts very nice sound quality, spades better than Rafael Kubelik's Mahler 1 recorded nearly a decade later. However, the players are both better and worse than Kubelik's Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra: while managing a much rounder and fuller sound (especially the trumpets) compared to the brash and oftentimes thin BRSO (this can be partially attributed to the recording quality, however), the London Philharmonic seems to have trouble keeping up with Boult's gestures and liberties he takes with the music. For instance, the surprisingly fast scherzo sometimes shows its seams, with the strings struggling to keep up, and the end of the first movements showcases some low brass about an eighth of a beat apart. Also, Boult strangely slows down for the coda of the finale, and even worse, fails to bring out the strings. All of the BRSO's faults with tone and intonation are forgiven when the strings bounce out of the speakers at the coda, and Boult's slower coda could have been saved by some more assertive playing from the London strings. All in all though, a well thought-out performance that easily rivals any other modern recording. The Kubelik mentioned above is similarly played, and despite the aforementioned playing fluffs is also worth recommending for possibly the best interpretation of the piece."
My vote for "best" Mahler First!
madamemusico | Cincinnati, Ohio USA | 12/23/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is always a personal, subjective thing to select a "best" performance of any work, but this Mahler First wins on several counts. For one thing, it is bucolic and charming; for another, it has an integrity of tempo within each movement that I do not hear in the vastly overrated Kubelik recording with its whipped-up climaxes and splashy, bashy playing. Last but not least, the stereo sound--though it has lost some of its impact when compared to modern digital marvels--is still lovely, with an orchestral sheen and "open" soundstage so important to Mahler. My only complaint is that the final pages lack a bit of power (O Toscanini, WHY did you dislike Mahler so much??!?), but that is a small price to pay for a truly great performance. Listen to the recorded excerpts if you'd like to hear what I mean."