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Mahler: Symphony No. 1 / Czech Philharmonic

Mahler: Symphony No. 1 / Czech Philharmonic

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The Czech Philharmonic and Music Director, Semyon Bychkov, continue their acclaimed Mahler cycle with the composer’s First Symphony, one of the most evocative and colourful symphonic debuts in the history of the genre. Mahler once famously said that “a symphony should be like the world, it should encompass everything.” In his First Symphony, he creates just such a world, filled with animal sounds, hunting horns, rural dances, klezmer bands and allusions to his own songs and folk song melodies such as Frère Jacques. These elements all function within a highly subjective, immersive symphonic drama, providing a blueprint for most of his symphonies to come. Semyon Bychkov and the Czech Philharmonic approach the composer’s firstling with their esteemed eye for detail and pacing, matched by their unmistakably Bohemian sound. The Czech Philharmonic is one of the world’s orchestral gems, recognised for its rich tradition with the Czech masters as well as European repertoire. Semyon Bychkov who is internationally renowned for his interpretations of the core repertoire, began his tenure with the Orchestra at the start of the 2018/19 season. Their recording of Mahler’s First Symphony follows Mahler’s Fourth and Fifth Symphonies (both 2022) and the Second Symphony (2023), part of the complete Mahler cycle to be released by Pentatone.


The orchestra’s magical combination of richness, precision, and nuance is instantly in evidence, with brass and wind pinpoint and the strings characteristically shimmering and sinuous in the opening movement before making merry in Kraftig bewegt, doch nicht zu schnell. The control and perfection of Bychkov’s pacing in the third movement, and the way his forces combine in Sturmisch Bewegt with such attack one minute and astonishing fluidity the next, epitomizes a reading of beauty and depth.

-- The Sunday TImes (UK)

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Product Description:

  • Release Date: September 08, 2023

  • UPC: 8717306260435

  • Catalog Number: PTC5187043

  • Label: PENTATONE

  • Number of Discs: 1

  • Period: Romantic, 20th Century

  • Composer: Gustav Mahler

  • Conductor: Semyon Bychkov

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Czech Philharmonic