This was the first Mahler symphony I discovered and I have spent almost a lifetime listening to it and loving it. From the others in this series I knew this performance would be special but it exceeded my expectations. I'm not sure how much of the detail that comes out is due to Abbado and how much to the brilliant sound but this is a performance that takes you right to the heart of this incredible symphony. When, right at the end, the long row of horn players stand up to deliver the final apotheosis the moment is almost overwhelming - and the audience's appreciation of this conductor, who has battled with cancer and who seems to be on borrowed time, is almost equally moving.
I cannot recommend this more highly. The orchestral playing is exemplary and the Prokofiev performance is equally brilliant... though it's the Mahler that, with this conductor, is so very special. Because of the extra clarity of both sound and vision the Blu-ray is the version to go for; it's worth buying a Blu-ray player and decent sound system just for this.