One of the most grown-up review sites around

2019
52,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider


Yes we are selling
Acte Prealable again!
£11 post-free


we also sell Skarbo

and Oboe Classics


TROUBADISC

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

WYASTONE releases



The Birth of Rhapsody in Blue
A superlative recreation


such a success


An outstanding performance


make acquaintance without delay


Violin Concerto
This is an impressive disc


Strong advocacy
for a British composer


Piano Music - Martin Jones
agreeably crafted


Piano Music 5CDs


Consistently fine


Rare and interesting repertoire


An excellent introduction


A Celebration on Record


An issue of importance


Richard RIJNVOS
A splendid disc


both enlightening and rewarding
additional review

 


Availability

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911)
Symphony No. 1 in D major
Vienna Symphony Orchestra / Jascha Horenstein
rec. Vienna, 1953
XR remastering Ambient Stereo
PRISTINE AUDIO PASC542 [57:43]

This has already been glowingly reviewed recently by my MWI colleague Rob McKenzie, who made it his Record of the Month and went to some pains to examine and justify Horenstein’s choices regarding tempi and careful, detailed phrasing. I can understand both his admiration for the conductor’s slightly deliberate and even self-conscious phrasing but can also appreciate that some find his manner a tad cautious and precious. I have long loved this symphony and admire the sense of affection conferred upon it by Horenstein’s meticulous phrasing but recognise that with that approach he sacrifices some of the mystery and excitement a more propulsive and animated treatment can generate. For example, when the distant horns intone their hunting chorus at 11’09” they creep in almost shyly, but their entrance can be done much more vigorously, and the subsequent very gradual accelerando is so gentle and bucolic that the whole section becomes sleepy and bucolic, like a nap on a warm summer afternoon. However, when the horns return to sound a climactic paean at 14’59”, the contrast between their two high-profile contributions is marked and the slow build-up to that second intervention really pays off; Horenstein knows what he’s doing, structurally.

The Lšndler peasants’ dance of the second movement is similarly weighty and measured, with some surprising accelerandi and rallentandi. The advantages of Pristine’s remastering into Ambient Stereo are especially noticeable in the way instrumental detail contributes to the ambience Mahler wanted; there is no lack of charm or atmosphere and the superb playing of the VSO is enhanced by the warmth and depth of the new acoustic. I do find the third movement to be a shade too lugubrious but that enhances the grotesquerie of the music and is hardly incongruous. Again, there are lovely individual touches, such as the peculiarly plangent quality of the viola, then flute, solos half way through; Horenstein achieves a kind of mesmeric stasis. There is certainly no lack of intensity in the shrieking despair of the opening to the finale, then balm is applied via the concerted string section lovingly played by an orchestra that could be mistaken for their more illustrious Viennese counterparts, the odd horn blip notwithstanding. The climax of the movement is again measured but powerful; a fitting conclusion to a conception which is all of a piece.

I have a dozen or more recordings of this wonderful symphony and obviously some are considerably more, and in some cases, much more striking, modern sound but the restoration of this one and its highly personal execution qualify it for inclusion on the shelves – or the hard drive - of any Mahler enthusiast.

Ralph Moore

Previous review: Rob W McKenzie (Recording of the Month)



We are currently offering in excess of 52,000 reviews


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount



Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage


a vibrant slice of life


BRITISH CELLO WORKS
stylistically assured


About Every Hill and Valley
Swedish Songs


Hallberg and Dente
interesting and most welcome


An inspired partnership
additional review


TOSCA
A valuable document



Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger