Ormandy's recording of the Mahler First is certainly one to consider if you want to hear the composer's original five-movement conception, with "Blumine" occupying second place between the first movement and the Scherzo.
In my estimation, however, that is not the main reason to purchase this inexpensive reissue ("Blumine," though charming, doesn't really add anything of substance to the symphony as we usually hear it); rather, it is for the terrific playing of the Philadelphians under their longime maestro, Euegene Ormandy. Ormandy may not the the first conductor that comes to mind in relation to Mahler, but on the basis of this delightfully atmospheric and dramatically compelling rendition, Ormandy's traversal must rank with the finest of rival versions. Though Horenstein/LSO still retains a unique place in nearly every Mahlerite's affections, Ormandy/Philadelphia is just as cogent as interpretation and superior in execution. The remastered recording is overwhelmingly clear and present, with plenty of "air" around the instruments. Antiphonal passages come through enghantingly.
I have to admit to being blown away by this recording, which I hadn't previously heard despite my decades-long obsession with this composer and his many interpreters. The Von Stade/Davis rendition of the *Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen* has been added as a substantial bonus. Though von Stade is in fine voice, and Davis provides sensitive collaboration, this version cannot rival the classic ones--Ludwig, Baker, Fischer-Dieskau in my book--for depth of insight into the youthful Mahler's romantic preoccupations and existential crises; but it an effective accountm, well worth hearing.
Strongly recommended to seasoned Mahlerites and first-time collectors alike.