In the epic first movement, he’s not afraid to slow down daringly for the lyrical second subject and at various other points, nor is he at all prim about portamenti. No one will ever sound as craggy or implacable as Klemperer in this movement, but it’s a more than promising start.
The minuet movement has just the right mixture of charm and momentum so as not to sound like a cross between the score to a televised Jane Austen adaptation and Little Bo Peep. The scherzo conveys the relentless tyranny of the mundane with the trio effectively contrasted as an oasis. Alice Coote is fine in Urlicht (“Primaeval Light”) as is the bizarrely cast Natalie Dessay, but it’s in the vast sprawling and kaleidoscopic final movement where Järvi and company excel.
The tempos are excellently judged; textures are always kept lucid; and dynamics scrupulously observed, without any feeling of micromanagement. The cathartic moments are all brilliantly realised. One particularly memorable touch – hardly cathartic – is the exchange between the flute and piccolo at the Last Trump, which conveys a genuinely bleak almost creepy sensation.
Järvi and his forces manage this vast and complex canvas breathtakingly.