This successful coupling fits not only the 1:st symphony but also the song cycle that Mahler later used countless themes from for his first three symphonies; "Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen". Kubelik chooses relatively swift tempos - ensuring excitement and cunningly avoiding any negative side of swiftness: the dreaded "rushing". In some aspects, Kubelik could be considered an outsider among Mahler conductors with a conducting style that sometimes are the exact opposite of many contemporary conductors. His fresh and uncomplicated interpretation is often very obvious but nevertheless brilliantly powerful. This midprice CD is remastered and very well remastered indeed with all analogue pros in a digital setting. In short, a very nice coupling!
This is an excellent recording of the first, and I like it immensely. Kubelik elicits some wonderfully open sounds from the BRSO, and the joyful moments in the symphony shine out. HOWEVER, if you overlook the nice "DG Originals" packaging, you can get the exact same recording on "DG Classikon" for £2 cheaper. Its just above this entry...
I had an old recording of this symphony from the 1960s which effectively put me off Mahler for years. Despite gradually coming to him via other works this remained of limits until I attended a concert (BBC SSO) where it was positively magical. This may or may not be the best recording available but it is pretty good and has continued the rescuing of Mahler for me.
I love Mahler and to come across this sublime recording of Symphony No. 1 is wonderful. It seems so pure and true, perhaps due to its time of recording. The Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen is faultless, although I do have the recording in a somewhat better quality. I love listening to this, but wouldn't be without other recordings. If that makes any sense at all.