Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

Keyword Search
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews

See latest reviews of other albums...

Dan Morgan
MusicWeb International, December 2016

Naturally paced and nicely shaped, this is a refreshing, largely unmannered take on a work that seldom gets the performance it deserves. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review

John Quinn
MusicWeb International, December 2016

I described this as one of the finest performances of Mahler’s First that I’ve ever heard and that remains my opinion. Everything about this release is outstanding. The Bavarian orchestra offers playing of finesse, vitality and great virtuosity while Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s conducting is perceptive and fresh. To cap it all, the BR Klassik recording is superb, conveying the performance in very natural and exciting sound. © 2016 MusicWeb International

Roger Hecht
American Record Guide, July 2016

…excellent playing by an orchestra that has come into its own.

The general interpretation is overt, direct, and not particularly subtle. Textures are brightly lit and well defined, and the overall approach is youthful, without the illusion of looking to the past. 2016 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Arthur Lintgen
Fanfare, July 2016

Nézet-Séguin is a musical colorist who encourages transparent instrumental textures. He also has consistent ideas about a given work’s structure and how he wishes to approach it. In Philadelphia, he has been able to combine color and transparency with the orchestra’s famous lustrous sheen to produce some memorable music-making. If you add the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra’s reputation for razor-sharp clarity and flawless execution, this recording has a lot of potential.

Nézet-Séguin’s Mahler First Symphony is a totally valid and highly recommendable interpretation. © 2016 Fanfare Read complete review

Huntley Dent
Fanfare, July 2016

…with the lustrous, world-class Bavarian Radio Symphony…, Nézet-Séguin is back in form. Nothing feels routine; an overall sense of fresh, enthusiastic music-making prevails.

That’s really this conductor’s signature, an uplifting mood rather than his specific musical ideas. He moves exuberantly through Mahler’s shifting colors, delivering what in essence is an heir to Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Symphony, complete with woodland scenes, birdcalls, and idealized peasantry. …In general, Nézet-Séguin’s reading leans toward the lyrical but with sufficiently exciting outbursts at places like the whooping horn calls in the first-movement coda. © 2016 Fanfare Read complete review

Brian Wilson
MusicWeb International, June 2016

Nézet-Séguin seems to be alive to every nuance of the music, from the mysterious rustlings of Spring to the glorious apotheosis-after-suffering of the finale. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review

BBC Music Magazine, June 2016

The most perfect Mahler First Symphony since Kubelik’s recording 49 years ago. © 2016 BBC Music Magazine

David Hurwitz, May 2016

Yannick Nézet-Séguin has paid his dues and is evidently maturing nicely as an interpreter. His Mahler is passionate, idiomatic, distinctive, technically adept, and excellently played by the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. Transitions are particularly well managed…

…his conducting makes no apologies for the climaxes, for the music’s emotional excess. … In short, this performance is a joy. © 2016 Read complete review

John Quinn
MusicWeb International, May 2016

This is, quite simply, one of the finest performances of Mahler’s First that I can recall hearing, whether on disc or live. The orchestral playing is magnificent while the interpretation itself is characterised by scrupulous attention to detail, by freshness and by an easily-worn sophistication. To date I’ve not heard too much of the work of Yannick Nézet-Séguin but on this evidence I’m not surprised he’s so highly rated; no wonder the Philadelphia Orchestra snapped him up. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Graham Rickson
The Arts Desk, May 2016

…having the rich-toned Bavarian Radio Symphony on hand makes this…performance indecently enjoyable in places. Nézet-Sèguin’s approach makes for joyous listening. Speeds are on the brisk side, the finer details always audible no matter how refulgent the sound. This isn’t wild, unhinged Mahler, but something youthful, good-natured and upbeat, …And the sheer polish of the playing never sounds glib: the wind and trumpet calls in the slow introduction are shaped to perfection, the dynamics impeccably graded.

This whole performance has a smartness and profundity that’s intoxicating, and it’s sensationally recorded. © 2016 The Arts Desk Read complete review

Christian Hoskins
Gramophone, May 2016

The Bavarians, with their long experience of performing Mahler, deliver superbly precise and expressive playing for their guest conductor. Nézet-Séguin’s careful attention to dynamics makes it clear just how much of the first movement is marked pp and ppp. Details that often make no impression in other interpretations, such as the muted brass chords two bars before fig 15 (10’08”), here make themselves felt and add tension to the performance. © 2016 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone, April 2016

…Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s performance of Symphony No. 1…shows the conductor to be somewhat headstrong, a bit impatient, at times beautifully focused on detail and at others inclined toward broadly sweeping gestures. …thanks to the excellent playing of Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, this Mahler First simply sounds wonderful, with depth and clarity intermingled and with its warmth and gigantism contrasted neatly with the sort of careful detail that Mahler engaged in especially when wanting to make a wryly humorous point. …it has the sort of crackling energy that helps make up for a certain superficiality in the handling of the music. © 2016 Read complete review

Blair Sanderson, April 2016

…Nézet-Séguin lets the four-movement version stand on its own without recourse to historical revisionism, and the trajectory of the work is almost ideally realized without the extraneous Blumine. …Nézet-Séguin also draws out the wonderful colors in Mahler’s masterful orchestration that make this symphony a delight, and every detail comes across vividly in the recording. Highly recommended. © 2016 Read complete review

Michael Cookson
MusicWeb International, April 2016

Everything feels fresh and vibrant with the Bavarian players underlining the brilliant details of the anomalous character of Mahler’s remarkable imaginative scoring. Unique and extraordinary, the Scherzo movement is alive with the rustic rhythms of the ländler and the elegance of the waltz. The chosen pace here feels ideal. Colourful woodwind and vibrant brass, yelp and cluck with picturesque expression. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Dan Morgan
MusicWeb International, March 2016

What a pleasure it is when—as here—the conductor metaphorically plunges his hands deep into the dark loam, revelling in its richness and promise. Nézet-Séguin and his orchestra build to a truly seismic close, the Bavarians playing with all the passion and power they can muster.

An electrifying Mahler First, superbly played and recorded; one of the best things I’ve heard this year. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Norman Lebrecht
Musical Toronto, March 2016

Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s interpretation of Mahler’s first symphony is beautifully played by Munich’s (some say Germany’s) best orchestra and thoughtfully structured by an impressive guest conductor. © 2016 Musical Toronto Read complete review

Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group