Mahler: Symphony No. 1 / Chailly, Gewandhausorchester
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Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 is an incomprehensible wonder of music history, rigorously peculiar, disturbingly new, and timelessly modern. “Wie ein Naturlaut” (Like a sound of nature) is indicated above the first notes of the symphony. It is both the prelude and the key to his symphonic cosmos as a whole. Mahler captures this music of the world, transforms it into a symphony in the old, comprehensive sense of the word and uses it to create his masterpiece of harmony. Composed over the course of just a few months at the beginning of 1888 in Leipzig, this symphony is a true musical awakening. Riccardo Chailly and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig bring Mahler’s sounds of nature to life in a riveting performance. This production was recorded live in January 2015 at the Gewandhaus zu Leipzig. As a bonus, this release also includes an exclusive interview with Riccardo Chailly.
The D major coda is played for all its worth, with standing horns joined (just as Mahler requests) by trumpet and trombone reinforcements. Multi-miked sound matches picture, taking you right inside Mahler’s orchestration at its most outlandish (and, indeed, Berliozian). Chailly’s Concertgebouw recording (1/97) was a high point of his Decca cycle but he’s one of those musicians who not only know that there is always more to say but who challenge themselves to communicate it.
Catalog Number: ACC20335
Composer: Gustav Mahler
Conductor: Riccardo Chailly
Orchestra/Ensemble: Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra