Eliahu Inbal - Mahler: Symphonies 1-10

Orchestra: Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Eliahu Inbal
Composer: Gustav Mahler
Audio CD
SPARS Code: DDD
Number of Discs: 10
Format: APE (image+cue)
Label: Denon
Size: 3.75 GB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

01. I–Langsam. Schleppend. Im Anfang sehr gemachlich
02. Langsam. Schleppend. Im Anfang sehr gemachlich
03. Langsam. Schleppend. Im Anfang sehr gemachlich
04. Langsam. Schleppend. Im Anfang sehr gemachlich
05. II–Kraftig bewegt, doch nicht zu schnell
06. II–Kraftig bewegt, doch nicht zu schnell
07. II–Kraftig bewegt, doch nicht zu schnell
08. II–Kraftig bewegt, doch nicht zu schnell
09. III–Feierlich und gemessen, ohne zu schleppen
10. III–Feierlich und gemessen, ohne zu schleppen
11. III–Feierlich und gemessen, ohne zu schleppen
12. III–Feierlich und gemessen, ohne zu schleppen
13. IV–Sturmisch bewegt
14. IV–Sturmisch bewegt
15. IV–Sturmisch bewegt
16. IV–Sturmisch bewegt
17. IV–Sturmisch bewegt
18. IV–Sturmisch bewegt
19. IV–Sturmisch bewegt
20. IV–Sturmisch bewegt
21. IV–Sturmisch bewegt
22. IV–Sturmisch bewegt

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Disc: 1
01. Andante moderato
02. Sehr m?ssig und (allm?hlich) Zur?ckhaltend
03. Sehr langsam beginnend
04. Tempo I
05. Tempo sostenuto
06. Andante moderato
07. Nicht eilen. Sehr gem?chlich
08. In tempo I. zur?ckkehren
09. Tempo I. Energisch bewegt
10. Wieder in’s Tempo zuruckgehen Tempo I

Disc: 2
01. In ruhig flie?ender Bewegung
02. Vorw?rts
03. Zum Tempo I. zur?ckkehren
04. 8 bar before “Unmerklich dr?ngend”
05. Im Tempo des Scherzo
06. Langsam
07. Im Anfang sehr zur?ckgehalten
08. Weider sehr breit
09. Maestoso
10. Kraftig
11. Wieder zur?ckhalten
12. Sehr langsam und gedehmt
13. Langsam. Misterioso
14. Etwas bewegter
15. Mit Aufschwung, aber nicht eilen

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Disc: 1
01. I. Kr?fteig, Entschieden

Disc: 2
01. II. Tempo di Menuetto. Sehr m??ig
02. III. Comodo. Scherzando. Ohne Hast
03. IV. Sehr langsam. Misterioso. Durchaus
04. V. Lustig im Tempo und keck im Ausdruck
05. VI. Langsam. Ruhevoll. Empfunden

Also available:  Vivaldi: Dresden Concerti, Vol. 2 (FLAC)

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01. I. Bed?chtig. Nicht eilen
02. II. In gem?chlicher Bewegung. Ohne Hast
03. III. Ruhevoll
04. IV. Sehr behaglich

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01. Part One, Movement I: Trauermarsch. In gemessenem Schritt. Streng. Wie ein Kondukt
02. Movement II: St?rmisch bewegt. Mit gr??ter Vehemenz
03. Part Two, Movement III: Scherzo. Kr?ftig, nicht zu schnell
04. Part Three, Movement IV: Adagietto. Sehr langsam
05. Movement V: Rondo – Finale. Allegro

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Disc: 1
01. Symphonie No. 6: I. Allegro energico, ma non troppo
02. Symphonie No. 6: II. Scherzo (Wuchtig)

Disc: 2
01. Symphonie No. 6: III. Andante
02. Symphonie No. 6: IV. Finale (Allegro moderato)

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01. III. Scherzo
02. IV. Nachtmusik II

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Disc: 1
01. I. Teil: Hymnus: Veni, Creator Spiritus

Disc: 2
01. II. Teil: Schlussszene Aus ‘Faust’

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Disc: 1
01. I – Andante Comodo
02. II – Im Tempo Eines Gem?chlichen L?nders. Etwas T?ppisch Und Sehr Derb.

Disc: 2
01. III – Rondo – Burleske; Allegro Assai Sehr Trotzig
02. IV – Adagio
03. Adagio Symphony No. 10

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1. I. Adagio
2. II. Scherzo. Schnelle Vierteln
3. III. Purgatorio. Allegretto moderato
4. IV. [Scherzo] Allegro pesante. Nicht zu schnell
5. V. Finale

A clean, well played, well recorded Mahler first

Inbal’s pioneering MAHLER cycle on Denon is overall very well played with the first, fifth and seventh well worth having in any Mahler collection. Orchestral textures are clean, details emerge cleary without undue emphasis during climaxes. Tempos are well chosen. Given the bargain price, this is one of the digital Mahler firsts that still sounds fresh some twenty plus years on. Many Mahler collectors have several firsts, me included, this one is an easy recommendation for recording quality, even keel tempos, beautiful orchestral tone and a wide dynamic range.

A low-key, bucolic, genial Mahler First

Because they have recently appeared at music download sites, I’ve been cruising through Inbal’s generally well regarded Mahler cycle. Denon provides excellent sound (once state of the art and hardly showing its age), and the Frankfurt radio orchestra is good, although that’s barely a passing grade when one can have the brilliant orchestras of Berlin and vienna in this music. As far as Inbal goes, one soon discovers that he makes Mahler come to him instead of the other way around. He’s always relaxed, genial, unconcerned with the music’s difficulties, and generally low-key. For some reason this approach garners five stars at Amazon, presumably form fanboys, or listeners who like all music to sound like background music, a hard trick with Mahler.

If any symphony is going to fit Inbla’s temperament, it’s the bucolic First, and in fact, the first movement sounds suitably cheerful and innocent. Inbal ambles in a leisurely fashion, and he keeps the eruptions of joy to a minimum. No need to get carried away. The festive peasants in the second movement dance in slippers rather than clogs. The third movement could use quite a lot more bite and spice, but apparently Inbal doesn’t view this funeral in the woods as a parody. He’s more a parson than a prankster. Even so, his sense of mood on the whole feels right. The big surprise is that he cuts loose in the finale, giving us the kind of erupting joy that Mahler wants. It and the first movement are the best in this performance.

In all, I think the other reviewers are right when they say that this is one of the strongest installments in Inbla’s cycle, but you need to ratchet your expectations down a bit anyway.

Fresh, Solid, Brilliant

These were the three remarks I had to put in my mind when I was listening to this recording of Mahler’s first symphony (“The Titan”) with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Eliaju Imbal.
Personally, it is also one of my favorite recordings of the Mahler symphonies under Inbal, along with the Fourth, the Fifth, and the Seventh. He’s also my favorite Mahlerian figure above all the rest, except for, of course, the iconic (and not to mention whom had given Inbal a recommendation for a scholarship at a music conservatory,) Leonard Bernstein.
The second movement is the key reason I really love this recording. As opposed to most other performances, it’s a bit faster and much lighter and smoother; even the low string instruments doesn’t seem to sound rough as if they’re trudging in mud. The most graceful second movement I know. That’s my personal pro.
My personal con would have to be a bit bland and straightforeward in the beginning of the fourth movement. Great but not as nail-biting as the Sony Bernstein one.
But these are just my opinions… I guarantee you that it’s (at least)… fresh, solid, and brilliant. Overall an excellent performance. You won’t be disappointed.

5 Comments

  1. Downloaded the 1st CD and the EAC log shows it was normalized to 100. Perhaps add this info to the post for those who care about that sort of thing? Anyway, good to see boxset.ru is still alive and kicking.

  2. Thanks a very lot – this will make a welcome addition to all my different Mahlers. As always there are mixed reviews, but the positive ones make me quite curious…

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