Originally Posted by dshea_32665
Once again DA has nailed a recommendation. I have been very dissastisfied with my Mahler 1 recordings. I currently own the Tennstedt/Chicago and Haitink/Concertgebouw recordings of this symphony. They are good, but there are problems that make me think that they are falling just slightly short of what I am looking for. I am looking for the "that's it!!" reaction to the recording.
I found a copy at a Hastings today of the Solti Mahler 1, and I remembered DA recommended this recording as his top choice. It was in that Universal Edition series so I got it for $6.99. I came home and listened to it. "That's it!!" Recorded in 1984, I remember being in school then and the general consensus was the Chicago symphony at that time had the best wind section in the world. I listened to this recording and it is amazing! The timbres and tone quality of the wind instruments is perfection. They nail every nuance at all the dynamic levels with tight cores to their sound. Solti does an amazing job with controlling the sonic landscape from the static backgrounds of the strings and winds while soloists are exchanging lines, to the triumphant passages by the brass. Intonation especially in the softs is really outstanding. This is an area where my other recordings falter at times. The timing and transitions seem very natural and right on. The sudden changes in dynamics and thematic material are done dramatically without being forced at all. What a performance!!
I was actually fortunate to hear this piece done by the Chicago symphony two years after this recording. I remember being in the back of the hall and when the brass played, you could feel the skin on your face being blown backwards. It was pretty amazing.
My next task is to go see what DA has recommended for the 2nd. I am sure it will be another "that's it!!" recording.
The Solti/Chicago 1st from 1984 was my "first" Mahler 1st on cd, though I had heard others. The first cd I ever heard was Abbado's 1st, also a ver fine performance. But yea, the thing that's always struck me about Solti's 1st was how fantastic the playing is. I used to come home from school, slap 'phones and and totally zone out to that recording, just because it's so beautiful. I've heard many many Mahler 1sts over the years, but the ones I go back to most are Walter's, Judd's and Solti's.
(Anyone else have the Judd w/ Florida? Awesome recording..)
As for the 2nd, as much as I've loved Slatkin's 2nd over the years, I really haven't come across a "that's it!" recording of the 2nd. Though Kubelik's has always been one of my favorite's as well.. Inbal was close, so was Maazel, but both of them have parts that really bother me.