Mahler: Symphony No. 1 - Gergiev

Mahler: Symphony No. 1 - Gergiev

LSO Live  LSO0663

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical - Orchestral

Mahler: Symphony No. 1

London Symphony Orchestra
Valery Gergiev (conductor)

Mahler completed his First Symphony at the age of 24 and the work was considered a remarkable achievement, especially for someone so young. The symphony was originally conceived as a tone poem in the form of a symphony. Mahler drew inspiration from nature and described the epic final movement as a journey ‘from inferno to paradise’.

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DSD recording

Recorded live January 2008 at Barbican, London, United Kingdom

James Mallinson, producer

Neil Hutchinson & Jonathan Stokes for Classic Sound Ltd balance engineers
Comments (3)

Comment by Waveform - January 3, 2017 (1 of 3)

Valery Gergiev's Mahler cycle with the London Symphony Orchestra received mixed reviews at the time. Symphonies Nos. 1, 3, 6, 7 and 8 were positive surprises for many whereas 2, 4, 5 and 9 were less impressive. Actually this "Titan" has been such a popular album among the consumers that it has been sold out at the online shop of the LSO!
I don't want to compare these albums, it is useless. But there was, however, one common thing:

The level of the recording - particularly in multichannel - was surprisingly low. Therefore you must to turn the volume significantly higher than usual.

Why the engineers decided to proceed on this way? They had a great chance to offer a wide dynamic range. But they failed, I think.

Anyway, my personal favorites are as follows: 1 (innovative), 3 (powerful), 4 (beautiful), 6 (thrilling), 7 (interesting) and 8 (uplifting). Don't miss these!

Comment by hiredfox - January 8, 2017 (2 of 3)

Always a problem on LSO Live, partly because of the very absorbent nature of the hall itself. No compression of any kind is used for these recordings so to accommodate the full dynamic range of the music the low level stuff inevitably becomes almost inaudible especially on systems having an inherently 'high' noise floor.

Much the same thing is experienced with BIS recordings.

For me this is the correct way to do things, many otherwise decent SACD recordings are spoiled by artificial compression to keep sound levels civilised.

Comment by Waveform - January 12, 2017 (3 of 3)

I listened the whole album yesterday and it did a great impression. The finale was really a journey ‘from inferno to paradise’, a tour-de-force. The gates of hell were fully opened at the beginning while the triumphant end revealed a bright light to the darkness.

This was my first SACD of this symphony, by the way. I cannot recommend this highly enough although the DSD recording (in multichannel) was slightly dry and subdued.