I wasn't sure what to expect of this disk given the reviews (here and elsewhere) and the liner notes I perused before listening ("dogging Stravinsky's footsteps" of writing in a wide range (too-wide?) of music). The jewel case evens warns of "crepuscular sonorities", whatever that might be, that sent a shiver up my spine and prompted me to keep a small tube of hydrocortisone handy. I am happy to report that I listened all the way through without harm. In fact, I found the disk pleasing and a good bit of fun. What others found to be troublesome (jumping about stylistically from movement to movement), I found novel and engaging. This first symphony was composed when Casella was just 23, so there is a certain amount of finding oneself that is to be expected, but I thought the presentation was an enjoyable buffet. As noted by others, the first movement owes a big debt to the Ruskies, but it comes off with a softer, Italianate patina. The chest pounding, vodka swilling drive is definitely up front, but somehow dreamier as if washed gently by the spirit of Onegin dancing in the wings. The second movement is very much what I would call romantic Italian, think Cavalleria Rusticana. You could get lost up in the clouds and need a ladder to climb back down when it's done. The final movement is unmistakably German, but again, with Italian flourishes and bridges. The liner notes claim that at least the composer avoided any French influence in the piece, but midway through that third movement, I'd swear the French impressionists pop on stage for a quick cameo. And it's all good. The last movement is alas, a bit too ambitious and the drama, more than once, goes over the top (think Nora Desmond's eyes in close up). Still, the disk is a pleasant surprise and a worthy addition to my collection. NOTE: I have over a thousand CDs and they all play on CD/DVD players and my two computers, but this one disk refuses to play on my computers. If you plan to listen exclusively on your computer, play it safe and get the download.