This recording came as a bit of a surprise; I had previously only known Boult for his excellent recordings of "The Planets" and other British compositions. I acquired this recording to see what a new mind could bring to this much-played symphony. I was not disappointed, as the performance was quite involving and lucid, and Boult not afraid to bring out the climaxes while still keeping the interludes interesting. Despite being recorded in 1958, it still boasts very nice sound quality, spades better than Rafael Kubelik's Mahler 1 recorded nearly a decade later. However, the players are both better and worse than Kubelik's Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra: while managing a much rounder and fuller sound (especially the trumpets) compared to the brash and oftentimes thin BRSO (this can be partially attributed to the recording quality, however), the London Philharmonic seems to have trouble keeping up with Boult's gestures and liberties he takes with the music. For instance, the surprisingly fast scherzo sometimes shows its seams, with the strings struggling to keep up, and the end of the first movements showcases some low brass about an eighth of a beat apart. Also, Boult strangely slows down for the coda of the finale, and even worse, fails to bring out the strings. All of the BRSO's faults with tone and intonation are forgiven when the strings bounce out of the speakers at the coda, and Boult's slower coda could have been saved by some more assertive playing from the London strings. All in all though, a well thought-out performance that easily rivals any other modern recording. The Kubelik mentioned above is similarly played, and despite the aforementioned playing fluffs is also worth recommending for possibly the best interpretation of the piece.