The young Bruno Walter was Mahler's assistant, and his performances of his music consequently have a unique authority. This version of the First Symphony derives from a 1950 broadcast made on the occasion of Walter's return to his native Munich, where his career had come under threat from anti-Semitism in 1922. Given the circumstances, what astonishes is the serenity of his interpretation - free from bitterness, though particularly moving in the third movement with its overtones of traditional Jewish music. A similar sense of calm pervades his account of Schubert's Unfinished, though its epic breadth might upset some.
Mahler: Symphony No 1; Schubert: Unfinished Symphony
Tim Ashley is a Guardian classical and opera critic, though he's also keen on literature and philosophy so you might sometimes find him cross-referencing all three. His work has also appeared in Literary Review and Opera magazine and he is author of a biography of Richard Strauss