Founded in 1940, the Utah Symphony became recognized as a leading American ensemble largely through the efforts of Maurice Abravanel, Music Director from 1947 to 1979. During his tenure, the orchestra undertook four international tours, released numerous recordings and developed an extensive music education program. A pioneering cycle of Mahler Symphonies conducted by Abravanel was recorded between 1963 and 1974 and included the first commercial stereo recordings of the Seventh and Eighth Symphonies. These recordings also marked the first complete Mahler cycle recorded by an American orchestra.
Utah Symphony Reviews:
“The orchestra sounds good in all departments, with some soloists highlighted to outstanding effect. … Fischer and his musicians are so musical in this potboiler of a symphony …” —Anthony Kershaw, Audiophilia
“these players respond with as rhythmically vital a performance as you could wish to hear. … I have one small but significant criticism of the third movement. The double-bass solo is much too well played.” —Dave Billinge, MusicWeb International
“…this is truly a ‘welcome back’ party for Utah, and a really fine performance by any standard. Happy 75th birthday, fellas.” —Brian Wigman, Classical.net
“…the orchestra acquits itself with distinction. The opening dawn chorus is notable for its hushed strings and attractively rustic, closely observed woodwinds, possibly emboldened by the conductor’s background as a flautist.” —David Gutman, Gramophone Magazine