On the bonus disc accompanying these stirring performances, Zander talks about the two works with a cultivated communicativeness that struck me as positively heroic — a rebuttal of those for whom musical specifics have to be instantly dumbed down. He makes the lovely point that the ethereal seven-octave A that opens the symphony has been there since the beginning of time. “It is the tuning of the universe. It’s as if… God turns up the volume just a tiny bit.” He convincingly explains why he omits the first-movement repeat. His reading of the whole work — and of the associated songs — is simply magnificent. Four stars
Click here to listen to Mahler: Symphony no. 1.
Click here to listen to Mahler: Songs of a Wayfarer.