SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews

MAHLER: Symphony No. 1 in D Major – Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra – Mariss Jansons – RCO Live

A white-hot, intense version of this early Mahler symphony

Published on June 25, 2007

MAHLER: Symphony No. 1 in D Major – Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra – Mariss Jansons – RCO Live
MAHLER: Symphony No. 1 in D Major – Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra – Mariss Jansons – RCO Live Multichannel SACD RCO 07001, 54:47 *****:

The RCO Live series continues with another excellent SACD, recorded during concerts in the acclaimed acoustics of the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam during August and November of last year.  The RCO turns in a white-hot, intense version of this early Mahler symphony which is often the first one heard by those just being introduced to the world of the composer. 

I did a comparison with my SACD reference of the work, the San Francisco Symphony live recording with Michael Tilson Thomas.  it has a more prominent, Telarc-like bass drum thruout, and a somewhat better ambient feeling of the venue.  However, the micing sounds a bit distant in comparison to the RCO version, and while the SF recording is tremendously transparent, the RCO has a richer and fuller sonic – though more amorphous.  The soundstage on the MTT SACD seems wider and with more pinpoint clarity on soloist locations.

Jansons slows the second movement for a more lyrical effect but speeds up the finale vs. MTT.  I plan to keep the RCO SACD for the intensity of its interpretation.

 - John Sunier




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