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  • Mahler: The Complete Symphonies
  • Mahler: The Complete Symphonies
  • Mahler: The Complete Symphonies

Sony Import

Mahler: The Complete Symphonies

Sony Import

Mahler: The Complete Symphonies

£94.00 £56.40 Save: (40.0%)
£56.40 £94 Save £37.60 (40.0%)
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Product Description Product Description
  • Mahler: The Complete Symphonies (2012-03-20)
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Customer Reviews

Excellent remastering but presented in a sadly inferior presentation. Sony needs to fix this!Of course this is an absolute must set for Mahlerians, as Bernstein brought about the great resurgence of these works, here with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Benchmark for what they represent both to Mahler and to Bernstein, they belong in any collection.The remastering is superb.The packaging is a disaster. The sleeves are too tightly engineered and it is almost virtually impossible to get the disks out of them! A really annoying struggle. Also, the double disk symphonies are sealed on the outside edges requiring removal on the inside folded edges...what a total pain in the ass to get them in and out. So all disks run the risk of damage to their surfaces every time you remove or replace them! This set contains only the adagio from the tenth (of course) but includes Janet Baker s legendary Kindertotenlieder ......sadly, the excellent Das Lied von Der Erede of Christa Ludwig and Rene Kollo that he did with the Israel P.O. are not included here.The sound and remastering are wonderful for sure, DSD, so I am assuming these come from the stereo layer of the Japanese SACD releases (which are prohibitively expensive). So, sound is A+++ but packaging is a D- .The Other Set , released as the Carnegie Hall presents , I have reviewed separately under that title.4What a team - Bernstein/NY PhilSymphonies 1-4 - stellar performances and recording, # 5 not a great performance but Bernstein would make up for it in 1987 with the Vienna Philharmonic. # 6 a fine performance and recording if not as intense as the shattering 1988 Vienna Philharmonic recording, # 7 although never my favorite Mahler still an admirable performance, # 8 with the London Symphony - a very thoughtful performance. Sessions were scheduled in 1991 with the NY Philharmonic to finish the second cycle with Mahler 8 but would never happen. # 9 a fine recording/performance if not as involving as the mid 80's Amsterdam on DG. And let's face it, the live Karajan/BPO is still the top of the heap. The movement from # 10 is well played but will never be a favorite. All in all, worth having but don't forget he second time around on DG.5Well worth the effort.When I told a friend that I was working on getting to know the Mahler symphonies, she said, "Boy - - You must really be depressed!." Yes, Mahler's stuff does have that effect on some people; it is very intense and deeply personal. But there cannot be any question that it is great music that speaks to the depths of the soul. Bernstein is one of the few conductors with the breadth and depth to take on this huge and intimidating repertoire and to be able to make it work. Right now I'm still stuck on the 2nd ("Resurrection") symphony; scared by it at times, but powerfully moved by it too. These are excellent recordings of superb performances. Not at all your easy listening background music, but - - as Charles Ives once replied when someone asked him why his music was so hard to listen to - - "why should the composer do all the work?" This is one corpus of music that will keep you occupied for a long time.5FOUR DIFFERENT REMASTERINGS ARE ON THE MARKET[hint: for ease of navigation, read the review though to the end, then come back and click on the links.]The CBS Bernstein/NYPO Mahler cycle on CD,Four different remasterings:-- 1) 1980s: Full-price CBS CDs = individual CDs, not in a box.-- 2) 1992: "Royal Edition" = individual CDs, not in a box.I don't know who did the remastering.-- 3) 2001: "Bernstein Century Edition" = individual CDs, also released in a box: Mahler: The Complete Symphonies ~ Bernstein,remastering engineers: Charles Harbutt, Ellen Fitton, Miguel Kertsman, maybe others.-- 4a) 2009: "Carnegie Hall Presents" - Mahler: Complete Symphonies (Carnegie Hall Presents),remastered by Andreas K. Meyer-- 4b) 2012: The box under discussion,this is an "original jacket" reissue of the 2009 remastering by Andreas K. Meyer.Critical consensus is that the Andreas K. Meyer remastering (24-bit/96kHz) is an enormous improvement over the first three.It was originally prepared for SACD release, but those Japanese SACDs are very expensive- in the Amazon search bar look up "Bernstein Mahler SACD"Meyer's CD remastering is available in version 4a or 4b.There is a slight difference in contents:-- 4a) The 2009 "Carnegie Hall Presents" version included the audio documentary "Gustav Mahler Remembered" and Das Lied von der Erde.-- 4b) The 2013 box (reviewed on this page) omitted those two, but added Janet Baker's 1975 Kindertotenlieder.Advantage 4a (2009) = "Gustav Mahler Remembered" (48 minutes) is a very well-done documentary (a 22 minute version can be found in the Kaplan Mahler Edition - see below).Alternatively, the 48 minute version is also on YouTube.See my comment dated July 13, 2015 for the web link.(Meyer's CD remastering of Das Lied von der Erde is available separately at low cost.)Advantage 4b (2013) = Less expensive, and packaged in "original jacket" format for the first time.Attractive and nostalgic for geezers like me.(plus Meyer's remastering of Janet Baker's 1975 Kindertotenlieder is very expensive outside of box 4b.)Disadvantage 4b (2013) = No texts or translations for Symphonies 2, 3 and 8 in the 32 page booklet (the "Carnegie Hall Edition" has them).This may not matter for experienced Mahler collectors.Texts and translations for Symphony 4 and Kindertotenlieder are on the back of the "original jacket" in fine print (Kindertotenlieder is on the jacket for Symphony 5).The additional works are available separately:-- "Gustav Mahler Remembered"Documentary by William Malloch.There is a 22 minute version of this documentary in: The Kaplan Mahler Edition: Symphony No. 2 in C minor- ResurrectionIf you don't already have it, The Kaplan Mahler Edition is an indispensible purchase (cheap too).Not just for the performances, but for all the extra stuff that comes with it.The 48 minute version is on YouTube. See my comment dated July 13, 2015 for the web link.The absolutely unabridged version of "Gustav Mahler Remembered" is 106 minutes, 28 seconds - inNew York Philharmonic: The Mahler Broadcasts 1948-1982 .-- The Andreas K. Meyer remastering of Das Lied von der Erde was reissued in 2010 as an inexpensive single CD:Mahler: Das Lied Von Der Erde-- Meyer's remastering of Janet Baker's 1975 Kindertotenlieder on SACD: Mahler: Symphony No.10-Adagio & Kinde (expensive)P.S. Andreas K. Meyer is not finished working his remastering magic on Bernstein's CBS legacy.He is also responsible for the new Bernstein Sibelius edition:Bernstein Sibelius - Remastered5Love at long lastWhen I was growing up I was aware of all the excitement surrounding Bernstein's Mahler, but could not afford to buy top-tier recordings so went with what I could afford. Now that prices are so attractive, I decided to see what the original fuss was all about. My goodness, what I missed! Eventually I will be getting hold of the DG set for comparison, but I must say I sat spellbound through this first go-round and can't imagine that his later thoughts will have that much more impact than these. For instance, I had never warmed to Mahler's 6th despite listening to numerous highly- rated versions. Now I find myself suddenly in love with it after hearing Bernstein. I thought Solti owned the 5th and 7th; now I'm in the midst of an affair and don't know how to break the news to Sir George. By all means give these a hearing. There was good reason for all the excitement, and an added delight in hearing the excitement of a great conductor coming into his own.5I like Bernstein better than Abbado and BertiniI purchased Abbado/BPO, Bertini/Kolner and Bernstein/NYPO cycles, because they were and still are top 3 Amazon customer reviews for complete Mahler symphonies. I compared these cycles movement by movement. My conclusion is that I like Bernstein most, Bertini next and Addado third. Bernstein efforts to express emotion without restriction and allows each instrument make its own sound in harmony. What a colorful sound at each and every corner of his wonderful performance. This is the true sound of Mahler and helps listeners enjoy the lengthy music without losing concentration. Abbado efforts to contrast controls over different strengths. Listeners should become one with Abbado's performance to fully appreciate the beauty of this contrast. However, it is not easy to keep concentration all the way through because Abbado removes Mahler's colors from the sound. Just like Karajan, Abbado pursues unified sound as one ocrchestra rather than a variety of sound tints in harmony. This works as an advantage, though, in string-dominating slow movements such as 3-6, 4-3, 5-4 and 9-4. Abbado's interpretation for these movements is excellent. Bertini efforts to sound natural. His performance really sounds effortless and beautiful. What a sound of no exaggeration in either direction of Bernstein or Abbado. Bertini's performance can be compared to a honest person speaking in a clear tone with no pretense. Many people would love the performance of Mahler in this style.5If you are a Bernstein fan.....Excellent value. I find, however, that I am not as fond of Bernstein's conducting as I once was (in my teens). Having had occasion to hear other conductor's performances I find the Bernstein ones somewhat lacking. However, if you are sure you like his performances this is a splendid buy. Each disk or dual disk package has original liner notes on the back (get out your reading glasses) and a nice booklet comes wit the boxed set as well. The sound was very good. I don't think Sony did any reduction (RIAA) curve so you might need to reduce the high end a bit. Other than that the sound was quite good although (too me) it sounded as if there was some compression. At any rate an excellent deal for under $305Mahler as I think Mahler would have conducted itThese are dramatic performances, but everything I know about Mahler suggests that this is how he would have himself conducted these very dramatic symphonies. The sound is remarkably good, given the age of these recordings, full and strong. Of course if Mahler is not your cup of tea, or of much stronger drink, then you may find these performances overwrought. But Mahler is a very overwrought composer, a driven man, a perfectionist at the cost of an early death. His big tuttis are huge, but his slow movements are often ravishingly beautiful. I would not recommend this music, much less these performances, to anyone whose emotional stability was fragile. But if you like Mahler, and if you are not contemplating doing yourself any harm, then I certainly recommend these powerful and idiomatic performances.5Bernstein's Mahler - still thrillingThis box set of 12 CDs includes all of Mahler's symphonies, Nos 1 to 9, including the first movement of his unfinished No 10, with Bernstein leading the NY Philharmonic, and the London Symphony Orchestra (No 8). An added bonus, on CD 12, the song-cycle, Die Kindertotenlieder, sung by the inimitable and great Dame Janet Baker, with the conductor heading the Israel Philharmonic. The recordings date from 1960 to 1975, all in great sound.Lenny Bernstein is most responsible for having promoted Mahler's music to a wide audience in the US back then. Very personal and emotional in his interpretations, bombastic at times and too melodramatic, missing sometimes the nuances in the score, not to the liking of some at the time. His style for all his performances and recordings. However, they remain visceral and fresh today.Apart from the super playing of the NY Philharmonic, and the British and Israeli orchestras, some great vocalists in the symphonies, Lee Venora and Jennie Tourel (No 2), Martha Lipton (No 3), Reri Grist (No 4), and the endless list for Symphony No 8, Gwyneth Jones, Erna Spoorenberg, Anna Reynolds, John Mitchinson, Donald McIntyre, .... And the multiple choruses.As in all box sets of complete symphonies by a composer, from Hayden, Mozart, Beethoven to Nielsen and Shostakovich, etc., good to pick a recording of an individual work based on the orchestra and conductor. And, there are tons of interpretations for the offering. For example, Mahler's No 2, with Rattle and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, or No 6 with Tennstedt and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, or No 8, perhaps better with Solti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, ... ?In this set, you hear a master conductor, committed, passionate, with brilliant orchestras, exciting and still relevant. And at a very reasonable price. (I share my dislike, with another commentator, of CDs packaged in carton sleeves, as here. Nice, however, to have the original LP covers displayed. Fond memories recalled.)5Younger LB's Mahler, NakedFor years, the Beatles album I liked least was Let it be. It turns out that this was because Phil Spector had monkeyed with it, schmaltzing it up, compressing it, and adding his "Wall of Sound." When Let it be, Naked, which undid Spector's meddling, came out roughly 12 years ago, it changed my entire view of the album--the improvement in spaciousness and transparency brought out music I hadn't heard before.And so it is with this remastering of LB's 60s series of Mahler symphonies. I used to love the recordings of 1, 6 and 7 despite the sound, which was overprocessed. Now, the remastering of the set had opened up everything; I had no idea the New York Philharmonic from that era could sound so gorgeous. To get a sense of how much the sound changed, compare previous masterings of the 5th (which were to me nearly unlistenable) to this remastering. The bass line has a tunefulness that we absent before, and the horns now sound beautiful. In general, I now prefer this set to the stuff he did later for DG.Even if you own all these recordings from previous releases, if you love Mahler, spend the < $30 to get this.5
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