July 30, 2019 — The Swedish label BIS Records is releasing the fourth album of the Minnesota Orchestra’s ongoing Mahler recording series—a recording of Mahler’s First Symphony, the Titan, conducted by Music Director Osmo Vänskä.
The album will be released on disc in the U.S. and Canada, digitally worldwide, at Orchestra Hall, and through the Minnesota Orchestra’s website, minnesotaorchestra.org, on August 2, 2019.
Considered one of the most impressive first symphonies ever written, Mahler’s First, begun when the composer was just 24, contains a wide sound world featuring evocations of birdsong and nature, rustic dance rhythms, an oppressive funeral march and exquisite melodies.
Mr. Vänskä and the Orchestra recorded the First Symphony at Minneapolis’ Orchestra Hall in March 2018, continuing a plan to record all of the composer’s symphonies.
The Orchestra’s recording of Mahler’s Fifth Symphony received a 2018 Grammy nomination for Best Orchestral Performance. Mr. Vänskä and the Orchestra have also released acclaimed recordings of Mahler’s Sixth Symphony and Second Symphony, Resurrection. Since the First Symphony was recorded, Mr. Vänskä and the Orchestra have recorded three additional Mahler symphonies—the Fourth, Seventh and Tenth—for future releases on the BIS label. The project will continue with performances and recording sessions of the Ninth Symphony in June 2020.
The BIS team, led by producer Robert Suff, recorded this album as a Super Audio CD (SACD), using surround sound recording technology to reproduce the sound of the concert hall as faithfully as possible. BIS Hybrid SACDs are playable on all standard CD players. Further information about the Minnesota Orchestra’s recordings on the BIS Records label can be found on the BIS website, www.bis.se.
Minnesota Orchestra Recording History
The Minnesota Orchestra, founded in 1903 as the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, issued its first recording in 1924 and has since recorded more than 450 works, with Osmo Vänskä leading a particularly rich period of recording since his tenure began in 2003. The Orchestra’s Sibelius Symphonies cycle received critical praise, and the second recording in the cycle—featuring the First and Fourth Symphonies—won the 2014 Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance. The first disc was nominated in the same category in 2012. In 2016, Mr. Vänskä and the Orchestra released a live-in-concert recording featuring Sibelius’ five-part symphonic poem Kullervo and his beloved Finlandia, plus Finnish composer Olli Kortekangas’ Migrations, a new work commissioned by the Orchestra. Other recordings include two albums of Beethoven and Mozart piano concertos featuring Yevgeny Sudbin; a two-disc Tchaikovsky set featuring pianist Stephen Hough; and a widely-praised cycle of the complete Beethoven symphonies, of which two discs—one of the Ninth Symphony and one of the Second and Seventh—drew Grammy and Classical FM Gramophone award nominations, respectively.
Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, Titan
Osmo Vänskä, conductor
The Minnesota Orchestra recognizes the Douglas and Louise Leatherdale Fund for Music for supporting the work of Osmo Vänskä.