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VINE VOICEon 26 March 2005
I remember buying this as an L.P years ago. It was then (early 1970's) one of the very best Mahler discs around. But memory plays tricks, and would hearing it again on C.D. be as rewarding? You bet! It is a wonderful performance, where orchestra, conductor and engineers all came together to produce a classic. The L.S.O. is on superb form. The woodwind and brass sections in particular are special. Solti keeps the music moving, but is not as ruthless as he could be in some later Mahler recordings. The second movement Landler dances along, and the third, with its crazy clarinet interjections, is as bizarre as it should be. The finale is terrifically exciting, but relaxes where it should (wonderful string playing here).
The engineering is amazing for 1964; recorded in the Kingsway Hall, with John Culshaw producing, the sound is tangible in places, particularly the brass and percussion.
There are a number of fine Mahler 1's; but there are none better.
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on 10 November 2012
I have quite a few versions of Mahler's First Symphony ( as do most Mahler afficianado's , I guess ) , but this one is right at the top of the pile , in my opinion , along with Kubelik/Bayern Rundfunks , and ahead of most others.
The sound is still good in absolute terms , and the performance is terrific . Lively and vibrant when needed , and refined and subtle also .
Solti has somewhat of a reputation as being a bit unsubtle at times ( totally unjustified from my point of view ), but this performance has everything . Certainly better than Bernstein's critically acclaimed efforts .
It certainly deserves the legends tag it is labeled with here .
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on 27 May 2015
Solti's 1964 recording of Mahler's mighty First Symphony with the London Symphony Orchestra is a fabulous performance which brings out the colours and the emotion of the music. Being interested in how the themes keep returning and being able to conjure a performance in which the emotions and ideas behind the notes are communicated are parts of Solti's genius as well as creating a soft yet warm and gritty colourful sound world. The first movement is so lovingly played and the atmosphere of Spring is here in its warmth and beauty. The second movement is very exciting; and then the way the third movement changes the whole mood is expertly done. The end of the third movement leads fluidly into the crashes of the fourth movement in which the theme of Fate destroying the happiness of the first two movements is played out against the wailing is terrific and the way the theme is transformed into humans wanting desperately to live and take on Fate and overcoming terrible feelings of death wiping out love of Nature and life is glorious. This is a fierce Mahler's First conducted by a genius conductor who really understood Mahler so well.
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on 19 March 2014
This is one of Decca's great recordings with Solti and the LSO on top form. The Decca sound of the sixties is quite extraordinary and the Solti electricity finds an ideal vehicle. Strongly recommended.
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on 12 December 2013
Really captures the essence of Mahler. Hopefully it will have an electric effect on my performance this evening!
Frank Peacock
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on 28 August 2010
I bought this disc for my husband, who is a great classical music fan, but as he prefers to listen alone, I have not yet heard it all through.
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