I was disappointed in the recent Mahler: Symphony No.8 (Dudamel) [Blu-ray] [2012
]; which looked impressive, but was lacking in terms of sound quality - especially from the lower end of the audio spectrum. However, this new release of the Ninth is just the opposite - the sound almost literally leaps out of the speakers at you and the sound quality is excellent throughout.
The first movement is a bit slower than some, but none the less exciting - mostly due to that spectacular sound quality. Every dynamic is captured and every nuance of an impressive Los Angeles Philharmonic. I was surprised that Dudamel could do Mahler as well as this and I felt this was up there with some of the best and my personal favourite - Karajan with the the Berliner. In fact I now think I prefer this version for its more three-dimensional sound - the sound picture of the orchestra captured by DG. It may be the closeness of the mic'ing but I really enjoyed this.
Of course we have many great recordings of the Ninth now and some may prefer Haitink or Abbado; but I think it is interesting to hear what a younger conductor makes of this music and you can certainly hear Dudamel's energy and excitement about this piece, transmit to the orchestra. The textures in the final movement certainly added something new for me and overall I think this is certainly worth a listen.