, February 2013
The recording is from concert performances…The performance gripped—and held—my attention from the outset. I like Simone Young’s basic tempo in I: it’s expertly judged and neither too fast nor too slow. That of itself makes an immediately favourable impression. The orchestra makes a good sound, which is well reported by the engineers…the performance is characterised by good energy and rhythmic definition…the relaxed pacing gives us the chance to admire some excellent solo woodwind work…Indeed, the whole horn section, so crucial in this symphony, is on tip-top form throughout.
The Andante moderato is beautifully sung. The playing is excellent; the string tone is consistently pleasing and there is much fine woodwind work. I find Simone Young’s way with this movement very persuasive: there’s lots of gentle calm but when the temperature of the music rises…she brings out the passion…that Mahler put into those pages.
She invests the scherzo with just the right amount of weight; sufficient to bring out the dark side of the music but not so much as to compromise the sparkiness of the sardonic side of things…there’s excellent rhythmic definition and good use is made of accents to characterise the music.
The recording reproduced very well on my equipment and seemed to me to convey the orchestra’s sound with clarity, impact and atmosphere. The sound has punch, when required, and presence…
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