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Mahler: Symphony No. 1 / Marin Alsop, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

Album Summary

>Mahler, Gustav : Symphony no 1 in D major "Titan"
Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

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. Marin Alsop has been Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra since 2007, a relationship now extended to 2015. Currently Conductor Emeritus of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Laureate of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, since 1992 she has also been Music Director of California's prize-winning Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music.

Gramophone Magazine, October 2012
Alsop brings a vigorous spring to the music's step...At no point does her Mahler seem anything less than well considered and expertly groomed. But one still wishes she'd take off the leash and let the music run free for a while.

The Guardian, October 2012
It's a thoughtful performance, very reined-in for the most part, though when Alsop finally lets her Baltimore forces off the leash in the closing peroration the effect is so startling that it blows you away...You're also very aware throughout of both the work's newness of vision and its debts.

American Record Guide, January/February 2013
The most unusual and interesting performance here is from Marin Alsop; her light and classical touch makes Gustav Mahler's First Symphony sound more youthful than it really is. Her control and devotion to this approach is remarkable. Even the last movement never really lets go, yet the result is not at all "lightweight" or inconsequential.

MusicWeb International
Even if you own multiple versions of Mahler 1, I urge you to give this one a try. It's refreshingly different and is supported by engineering of superior quality. A fabulous CD.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Baltimore, Maryland, US (09/26/2008-09/28/2008).


Naxos 8.572207 Mahler symphony no. 1
This Naxos CD contains a new performance of Mahler's First Symphony, nicknamed the "Titan."
In 1803, Beethoven's "Eroica" Symphony jolted the musical world; nothing like it had ever been heard before. Mahler delivered another jolt in 1888 with this remarkably original work, which did something hitherto virtually unheard of - it included quotations from songs, especially from Mahler's own "Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen" (Songs of a Wayfarer) and "Des Knaben Wunderhorn" (Youth's Magic Horn). Mahler opined that "A symphony must be like the world - it must contain everything." The first movement, filled with sounds that Mahler heard as a child, portrays Nature as it awakens from its long winter sleep. The ensuing exuberant scherzo includes a trio based on a laendler, forerunner of the waltz. The unique slow movement's funeral march, built upon the children's song "Frère Jacques," is unlike anything previously heard in a symphony, and the work concludes with an astonishingly original finale that begins with a ferocious outburst and builds to a conclusion of overwhelming grandeur. Mahler originally planned a five-movement format for this symphony, but later dropped the so-called "Blumine" movement; in my opinion, the work sounds better without it.
Naxos is already famous for its many fine recordings, which generally cost about half as much as full-priced CDs. Marin Alsop's performance with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is as exciting as any that I've heard. If you're looking for a fine performance at a great price, I think that you will be very pleased with this version.
Ted Wilks
Submitted on 10/28/12 by Ted Wilks 
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Works Details

>Mahler, Gustav : Symphony no 1 in D major "Titan"
  • Conductor: Marin Alsop
  • Ensemble: Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Baltimore, Maryland, USA (09/26/2008-09/28/2008)
  • Running Time: 54 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: ?/?1884-03/1888
  • Studio/Live: Live