This fresh and exciting performance of Mahler's First Symphony reveals MTT and his orchestra on largely top form.... The playing of the San Francisco Symphony also is first class, with the exception of the flutes which not only sound more forwardly balanced than the other winds but play with such breathy tone that at lower dynamic levels it's sometimes difficult to discern the actual notes... I would count these faults less serious were it not for the fact that everything else about this production is so good. Still, on the understanding that nothing is ever entirely perfect, I can recommend this characterful performance with sincere enthusiasm. --
Rubinstein's heartfelt affinity and mastery of Brahms' burly piano writing is never in doubt, although the pianist's remake 10 years later with Erich Leinsdorf and the Boston Symphony benefits from his greater introspection and expressive simplicity in the first movement's lyrical second theme and the entirety of the slow movement. All told, the volatile Rubinstein/Reiner Brahmsian chemistry holds its own after more than half a century. –Jed Distler, Classicstoday.com
‘Jurowski made the first movement magnificent, generating a tremendous dramatic radiance.’ - Paul Driver, The Times, 12 Dec 2010
‘This poised and delicate account showed Blumine’s freshness and charm as part of an overall reading with an absolute identification with the material, demonstrating Jurowski’s flair for Mahler.’ - George Hall, The Guardian, 6 Dec 2010
I can't think of any professional performer who wouldn't be glad to claim Graffman's tremendously solid, albeit simpler pianism. Indeed, Graffman's sense of forward sweep and sustaining power within long, introspective passages score over what Van Cliburn halfheartedly delivered in his own recording with the Boston Symphony a few years later…Reissued through Arkivmusic.com's "on demand" program, this disc is well worth hearing. -Jed Distler; classicstoday.com
Rachmaninov's First Sonata (in D. minor, Op.28) in its powerful impact and vivid embodiment of grandiose philosophical concepts ranks equal with such gems of world piano music as B minor Sonatas by Chopin and Liszt.from the LP cover
You will probably be as incredulous as I was to learn that the greatest cycle of Mahler symphonies comes not from any of the usual suspects - Abbado, Bernstein, Chially, Haitink, Kubelik, Rattle, Sinopoli, Solti, Tennstedt - but from the unsung Gary Bertini, who spent the better part of his career as music director of the Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra. Unlike any of those more publicized sets, each of which includes a misfire or two, Bertini is consistently successful from first to last; his performance of each of these works can stand comparison with the very best available.