Mahler: Symphony No. 1

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Mahler
LABELS: Arts
WORKS: Symphony No. 1
PERFORMER: Amsterdam PO/Arpád Jóo
CATALOGUE NO: 47239-2
Poised somewhere between the Mahlerian efforts of such Dutch counterparts as the Netherlands Philharmonic under Hartmut Haenchen (mediocre) and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic conducted by Edo de Waart (excellent), Jóo’s 1983 Mahler 1 has a helping hand from a spectacular recording. It does tend to scrutinise impure violin harmonics right at the start, but thereafter its bright lights do wonders for woodwind presence and dialogues between horns to the left and trumpets to the right. Interpretatively, there are some exciting moments – above all the long-delayed resolution of a well-paced finale – but quite a few inorganic ones too, like the cocky arrival of the wayfarer on the first-movement scene. Regardless of the optional ‘filler’ (none given here), this poses no threat to the magisterial Kubelík on bargain-price DG. David Nice

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