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NX 2207
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NX 2207

MAHLER, G.: Symphony No. 1 (Baltimore Symphony, Alsop)

The Classical Shop
release date: October 2012

Originally recorded in 2012


Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

Alsop, Marin

Marin Alsop



Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Record Label


Orchestral & Concertos


Total Time - 54:54
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MAHLER, G.: Symphony No. 1 (Baltimore Symphony, Alsop)

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Symphony No. 1 in D major, "Titan"

1 I. Langsam, schleppend 16:21
2 II. Kraftig bewegt, doch nicht zu schnell 8:41
3 III. Feierlich und gemessen, ohne zu schleppen 11:10
4 IV. Sturmisch bewegt 18:42
 Marin Alsop Conductor
 Alsop, Marin

This remarkably original work, with its recurring quotations from the composer’s own songs, notably Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of a Wayfarer) and Des Knaben Wunderhorn (The Boy’s Magic Horn), is the perfect expression of one of Mahler’s most quoted sayings, “The symphony is a world; it must contain everything”. The opening movement, filled with sounds that Mahler remembered from his childhood, depicts “Nature’s awakening from the long sleep of winter”, and is followed by an exuberant scherzo and trio based on a Ländler. The disturbing slow movement funeral march, based on the children’s song Frère Jacques, is unlike anything that had been heard before, and the symphony concludes with music of thrilling dramatic intensity.

       Music ***½ (Good/Very Good)              Sound **** (Very Good)

Thomas Schulz - Fono Forum magazine - January 2013

"...Fresh and vibrant, this recording of Mahler’s First Symphony is appealing as a persuasive reading of this familiar work. The audio quality of this recording merits attention for the way it conveys the sound warmly. As much as the release is based on live performances, audience noise and hall sounds are minimal and mainly inaudible. However the intensity of the performance of the Finale deserves the applause the audience would naturally have offered at the conclusion. This recording has much to commend it to Mahlerians everywhere."
James L Zychowicz - - 26 November 2012

"... a thoughtful performance... when Alsop finally lets her baltimore forces off the leash in the closing peroration the effect is so startling that it blows you away... the sense of wonder of the first movement, together with the ironies of the later funeral march, are breathtakingly done, and all that hard to balance counter-point is beautifully clear ..."  ****

Tim Ashley - The Guardian - 12 October 2012

"Marin Alsop’s performance opts for more folk-like immediacy ... from whatever direction she arrives, Alsop brings a vigorous spring to the music’s step."

Ken Smith - Gramophone magazine - October 2012

"Marin Alsop’s performance opts for more folk-like immediacy ... from whatever direction she arrives, Alsop brings a vigorous spring to the music’s step."

Ken Smith - Gramophone magazine - October 2012

                     Artistic Quality 8     Sound Quality 8
"...this really is a largely excellent performance, with numerous characterful touches. The first movement is mostly gentle, even through the initial allegro ... the booming bass drum in the development section sounds deep and mysterious. It’s very atmospheric, even more so when the music explodes in the coda at its one real climax. The scherzo is also quite fine: a rustic stomp, with a nicely schmaltzy but not excessively cloying trio section. And I have nothing but admiration for Alsop’s handling of the finale—a swift, cogent reading that, in its refusal to drag out the concluding chorale, turns out to be one of the most exciting on disc. Through it all, the Baltimore Symphony plays very well, especially given the fact that this is a live recording. "

David Hurwitz - - October 2012

"...given that Alsop is the first woman ever to record a Mahler symphony ... with a major orchestra ...she deserves more than a perfunctory glance or listen. The Baltimore Symphony certainly provides a responsive Mahler instrument, the horns, strings, harp, and percussion alert and resonant throughout the composer’s invocations of pantheistic lyrical outpourings. Alsop allows the first movement Langsam, schleppend a spaciousness requisite to mix or childlike wonder and lyrical nostalgia, especially as the song allusions from Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen deal exclusively with unrequited love. Alsop’s A Major Scherzo, swaggering and explosive, speaks more authentically, the brass and tympani jarring the sensibilities with a Beethoven menace, while the strings and winds invoke folk and klezmer sensibilities into the fertile mix. The lilting trio section assumes the most Viennese pose Alsop achieves in this performance, the combination of Schubert and sentimental parody quite effective. Calls from the first movement, from the discarded Blumine movement, and from the mortal storms that would wrack Mahler in the course of his creative life, converge most powerfully; and by the last resounding chords, even the most skeptical of Alsop’s auditors should be convinced that Mahler suits her own multifaceted temperament." ****

Gary Lemco - Audiophile Audition - September 2012 

"Why do you turn to the Mahler First? If you look forward primarily to the snappy ending of the first movement of the adrenalin rush of the symphony’s jubilant final pages (played here with breathless exuberance), you may find that this new CD offers a rewarding experience ... Alsop (and the engineers) offer an exquisite sense of distance when the offstage trumpets enter in the first movement; the cellos and basses open the second movement with a deliciously rough-hewn tone; the more inward reflections in the finale are played with aching tenderness; glissandos are handled well throughout."

Peter J. Rabinowitz - International Record Review - September 2012

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