Magazine article Gramophone

Mahler: Symphony No 1

Magazine article Gramophone

Mahler: Symphony No 1

Article excerpt

Mahler

Symphony No 1

Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra/Yannick Nezet-Seguin

BR-Klassik (F) 900143 (53' * DDD)

Recorded live at the Herkulessaal, June 26-27, 2014

Although David Gutman may have regretted the absence of the Philadelphia Orchestra in Yannick Nezet-Seguin's recent recording of Mahler's Tenth Symphony (ATMA Classique, 12/15), there are no such concerns here. The Bavarians, with their long experience of performing Mahler, deliver superbly precise and expressive playing for their guest conductor. Nezet-Seguin's careful attention to dynamics makes it clear just how much of the first movement is marked pp and ppp. Details that often make no impression in other interpretations, such as the muted brass chords two bars before fig 15 (10'08"), here make themselves felt and add tension to the performance. Similarly, the tolling tam-tam from 1'22" in the third movement is just loud enough to augment the texture without sounding unduly prominent. At the other end of the dynamic spectrum, Mahler's many fff passages are presented with splendid attack and weight. …

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