This fresh and exciting performance of Mahler's First Symphony reveals MTT and his orchestra on largely top form.... The playing of the San Francisco Symphony also is first class, with the exception of the flutes which not only sound more forwardly balanced than the other winds but play with such breathy tone that at lower dynamic levels it's sometimes difficult to discern the actual notes... I would count these faults less serious were it not for the fact that everything else about this production is so good. Still, on the understanding that nothing is ever entirely perfect, I can recommend this characterful performance with sincere enthusiasm. --
A Masterful Performance - This performance of Mahler's first symphony must rank among the interpretations of Walter, Bernstein, Horenstein, all great Mahler conducters. Lorin Maazel's tempos are always intriguing, at times slower than the norm, other times, faster. Never a dull moment in this, or any of the other Mahler Symphonies recorded by Maazel with the Vienna Philharmonic on their 150th Anniversary. Regarding the orchestra itself, it must be the ultimate Mahler orchestra, the string sections a perfect example of musical warmth and the brass a terrific example of power. If you can find the entire set as it was released originally, as 14 Compact Discs, please buy it, the performances are worthy of the extra money. If you cannot find it, purchase the symphonies separately as Sony re-releases them. Definitely worth it for these amazing performances. - from Amazon.com
Let me be honest: I got this for the Mahler, and it's excellent. I'll look at the Beethoven concerto some time down the road. But for me, this was my best encounter with the Mahler first in a long, long time. Even though I didn't agree with every interpretive decision that Fabio Luisi made, he knew exactly what he wanted, and exactly how to express what he wanted to the Dresdeners via his hands, eyes, and face. This guy is amazing.
As such, this is my third encounter with Luisi. The first two were the Bruckner 9th and Richard Strauss' "Alpine" symphony; both on Sony, and both of those are excellent. But then again, the Staatskapelle has had a long history with both Bruckner and Strauss. But I think this orchestra was also born to play the Mahler 1st. In fact, they've already made two very good commercial recordings of M1: one with Otmar Suitner in 1962 (sans expo repeat), and one with Hiroshi Wakasugi in 1986 (I own that one). However, both are now hard to find. I want to cover some specifics, so indulge me in some subjective blather first.B. Guerrero – Amazon
A host of accomplished conductors including Daniel Harding, Daniele Gatti, Bernard Haitink and Eliahu Inbal lead the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in these performances of Mahler's Symphonies Nos. 1-10. Recorded in Amsterdam over two seasons in 2010/11, the collection also includes 'Das Lied von der Erde'.