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Mahler: Symphonies 1-3 Box set


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Product details

  • Conductor: Lorin Maazel
  • Composer: Mahler
  • Audio CD (28 Oct. 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 5
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Signum Classics
  • ASIN: B00FEJCC2G
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 141,099 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Symphony No. 1: I. Langsam, schleppend - Wie ein NaturlautPhilharmonia Orchestra16:28Album Only
Listen  2. Symphony No. 1: II. Kra?ftig bewegt, doch nicht zu schnellPhilharmonia Orchestra 8:26£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Symphony No. 1: III. Feierlich und gemessen, ohne zu schleppenPhilharmonia Orchestra11:18Album Only
Listen  4. Symphony No. 1: IV. Stu?rmisch bewegtPhilharmonia Orchestra20:43Album Only
Listen  5. Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection': I. Allegro maestosoPhilharmonia Orchestra25:00Album Only
Listen  6. Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection': II. Andante moderato. Sehr gema?chlichPhilharmonia Orchestra11:28Album Only
Listen  7. Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection': III. Scherzo. In ruhig fliessender BewegungPhilharmonia Orchestra12:13Album Only
Listen  8. Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection': IV. 'Urlicht'. Sehr feierlich, aber schlichtMichelle DeYoung, Philharmonia Orchestra 5:23£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection': V. FinaleMichelle DeYoung, Philharmonia Orchestra, Sally Matthews37:23Album Only
Listen10. Symphony No. 3, Part 1: I. Kra?ftig. EntscheidenPhilharmonia Orchestra37:43Album Only
Listen11. Symphony No. 3, Part 2: II. Tempo di Menuetto. Sehr ma?ssigPhilharmonia Orchestra11:32Album Only
Listen12. Symphony No. 3, Part 2: III. Comodo. Scherzando. Ohne HastPhilharmonia Orchestra17:38Album Only
Listen13. Symphony No. 3, Part 2: IV. Sehr langsam. MisteriosoPhilharmonia Orchestra, Sarah Connolly 9:09£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Symphony No. 3, Part 2: V. Lustig im Tempo und keck in AusdruckPhilharmonia Orchestra, Sarah Connolly 4:15£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Symphony No. 3, Part 2: VI. Langsam. Ruhevoll. EmpfundenPhilharmonia Orchestra25:50Album Only

Product Description

Product Description

Lorin Maazel leads the Philharmonia Orchestra and a star-studded ensemble of performers in Mahler's first three Symphonies. This is the first set in a series that will encompass Mahler's Nine Symphonies, featuring live orchestral recordings from London's Royal Festival Hall of Maazel and the Philharmonia's much-lauded Mahler Cycle.

Review

' ...The opening instalment of this Mahler cycle, recorded live (and excellently) in London s Royal Festival Hall, finds Maazel in impressive form. So is the Philharmonia Orchestra: its current line- up must be among its finest ever, with world- class quality in every department' --Sinfini Music

'… its wonderfully stylish: that hesitant Viennese-style playing-around and a lovely warm string sound…' 'You get that audience perspective as if you were sitting in the hall, and its got all the energy and focus of a live or concert recording.' --BBC Radio 3

This release … finds the Philharmonia, and particularly the brass, in fine form and the recorded sound is bright and spacious, while Maazel sometimes uncovers details of part-writing and orchestration that usually go unnoticed even in these transparent scores. --BBC Music Magazine

Their power and fascination offer irresistible bait to discover anew what makes this composer such a maddeningly compelling phenomenon. --International Record Review

'Maazel beguiles with instrumental clarity and polish' / 'I love these performances, truly and deeply, and just a little madly.' --Classical Ear Review 4 *

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
In the 1970's Bernard Haitink expressed his exasperation with the " Tyranny of the Complete Cycle", whereby record companies and promoters insisted upon these cycles irrespective of whether the conductor had an affinity with each of the works in the cycle-he was in particular referring in his own case to his reluctance to perform and record Mahler's Eight Symphony.
The result is that I struggle to think of a complete Mahler set where I unreservedly enjoy all the symphonies-not Tennstedt, not Boulez, not Abbado, certainly NOT Haitink and not even Bernstein. This is but a handful that I could choose, but the set that comes nearest to all out enthusiasm is the set recorded in the 1980's by Lorin Maazel and the incomparable Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the only complete set to feature this greatest of all Mahler orchestras.
It is a controversial set in many ways-Maazel as ever follows no "standard practice" and has studied the works afresh; delivering exquisitely played and recorded performances -which many find too idiosyncratic to bear!
His penchant for broad tempi and sense of great architecture at the expense of quirkiness does not strike a chord with all listeners-but I love it with my only reservations being in the Eighth (as usual!).

Almost 30 years later, Maazel returned to these monumental works in a concert cycle in London 2011, two of which concerts I was privileged to attend. The whole cycle has been recorded live by Signum and will be released in segments throughout the coming year.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Giorgio N. - Trieste (I) on 6 Jan. 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The first instalment of Maazel 2011 Mahler cycle at Royal Festival Hall has been recently released at a very bargain price.

In my opinion all the three first Mahler's symphonies here featured are outstanding both as performances and recorded sound.
The Philharmonia is terrific in returning us and completely disclosing every details of each work.

This is not a Mahler like Bernstein's, indeed.. it's Maazel, and ... he's truly at his best.

He gives here very analytical readings.
He is never bombastic, his timings and his overall vision of each work barely differ from his previous monumental New York cycle recorded between 2003 and 2009.
Maazel confirms here his complete control of the scores (even more than one could say about Boulez..) and overall his reading is broad and meditative

In the past Maazel was not totally convincing in Mahler, however I never found it bad.
On the contrary there were few cycles so perfectly controlled and well performed and refined like his Wiener Philharmoniker's.

Indeed - since I listened to it - WP cycle has never stopped me being impressed by its detailed and reflective renderings though I admit sometimes his slowness seemed a little overburdened (in M3, M7 and M8 above all).

However - while I'm not able to read the scores - I constantly perceived Maazel returned in Vienna many details I never realized completely before.

Now I see Maazel remains coherent with his lifelong view of these masterworks he has returned many times since 50 years.

There is no radical change in comparison with his previous renderings.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Raj on 24 Jan. 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Superb playing by the Philharmonia Orchestra under the baton of the most revered Mahlarian Lorin Maazel. Fantastic recording - a treasure to own!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.5 Stars for this brilliantly recorded and payed set but with too many idiosyncratic touches to be an outright recommendation 16 Jan. 2014
By D. S. CROWE - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
In the 1970's Bernard Haitink expressed his exasperation with the " Tyranny of the Complete Cycle", whereby record companies and promoters insisted upon these cycles irrespective of whether the conductor had an affinity with each of the works in the cycle-he was in particular referring in his own case to his reluctance to perform and record Mahler's Eight Symphony.
The result is that I struggle to think of a complete Mahler set where I unreservedly enjoy all the symphonies-not Tennstedt, not Boulez, not Abbado, certainly NOT Haitink and not even Bernstein. This is but a handful that I could choose, but the set that comes nearest to all out enthusiasm is the set recorded in the 1980's by Lorin Maazel and the incomparable Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the only complete set to feature this greatest of all Mahler orchestras.
It is a controversial set in many ways-Maazel as ever follows no "standard practice" and has studied the works afresh; delivering exquisitely played and recorded performances -which many find too idiosyncratic to bear!
His penchant for broad tempi and sense of great architecture at the expense of quirkiness does not strike a chord with all listeners-but I love it with my only reservations being in the Eighth (as usual!).

Almost 30 years later, Maazel returned to these monumental works in a concert cycle in London 2011, two of which concerts I was privileged to attend. The whole cycle has been recorded live by Signum and will be released in segments throughout the coming year.
The orchestra is the Philharmonia, for whose players no praise is high enough-the weight and richness of tone coupled with stunning virtuosity means that these recordings rank with the very best in terms of execution, and the recorded sound in the vastly improved acoustics of the refurbished RFH is superb. Detail, balance and weight are managed to perfection.

The first 3 symphonies are included in this mid price set, and these were the three most contentious on the Vienna set because of tempo. Some of this contention remains, but in other areas Maazel has adopted a more conventional approach, with the loss of some of the individuality of the earlier performances, but with perhaps a broader appeal.

The Vienna First Symphony was dismissed by many because of the slow tempo which Maazel adopted for the opening and especially the extraordinary drawn out and "loping" Landler of the Second Movement. Once I became accustomed to it, Maazel's approach seemed absolutely right, but in this recording the First Movement is slow but not overly so, and the Second Movement zips along as one of the faster readings! The remainder is pretty conventional and what results is a very fine First Symphony in the standard vein, less distinguished by individuality than the earlier reading but with presumably a wider appeal.

For many years I assumed that I was the only living person apart from Maazel who liked his idiosyncratic reading of the Second Symphony, but it appears that I am not alone after all.
Maazel's approach was long and slow-very slow-with a massive architecture building up to a colossal climax. Only Tennstedt in his EMI studio version exceeded this, but in this new version Maazel runs Tennstedt close.
This reading IS slow-hewn from the ether in massive sonic blocks-and is even slower than the previous version-BUT-there is more rhythmic variation at times which lifts the performance.
It is a slow grind, but worth the perseverance as the climax is truly massive and hair raising.
The offstage effects in the finale are very well caught, the "March of the Dead" lasts so long that many of the audience will have expired, and will only rejoin their families at the Resurrection!
The 2 Soloists, Sally Matthews and the ubiquitous Michelle De Young are excellent, especially Ms Matthews who soars in the finale.
Maazel has always been unafraid to do it how it how he sees it, and this unrepentant and eccentric reading will not appeal to all, but it is a mighty journey and a pilgrimage worth making every so often.

The Vienna Third was praised for being exquisitely beautiful-but criticised again for being too slow, especially in the finale. I love it but accept that it is an acquired taste.
In this performance, the highlight of the set, Maazel nudges the opening tempo along just a tad quicker, and is faster and more shaped than in his earlier version-and the result is a triumph.

The sheer weight of the sound, the fabulous trombone slide in the opening statement, the structure and detail are all superb. It's a BIG reading-every note is imbued with significance-and there is always a sense of a massive power about to be unleashed.
In the central section of the first movement, the passage that Richard Strauss characterised as like "the mass of workers unleashed from enforced toil for a few hours rushing headlong and inexorably to enjoy the pleasures of a holiday festival", Maazel repeats the square rhythms of his earlier reading rejecting Strauss's vision and placing this firmly in the barracks across from which Mahler lived throughout his childhood and whose martial music so influenced his compositions.

We are on the parade ground during the inspection of some pompous "Pickel Haubed" potentate, and this works very well.
The second movement has more lilt than previously, Sarah Connolly is an excellent soloist, the choirs are first rate and the "bim-bams" have more swing than previously.

I miss the almost unbearable sense of nostalgia that Maazel generated in the Third Movement with the VPO-many felt that Josef Pomberger's post horn was placed too distantly, but the effect is magical and the duet with Wolfgang Tomboc's French Horn is exquisite and NEVER fails to bring a tear to my eye.
In the concert environment of this performance, the balance is much more forward and less magical, and we hear a flugelhorn rather than a true post horn, but it is all superbly accomplished.
In the big explosion of power (a "borrowing" from Liszt's Transcendental Studies), the harp glissandi are well caught, and the movement ends in a lively frenzy.

The biggest change is in the finale. The Vienna Finale is SO slow that it comes near to losing the musical argument entirely and was a major stumbling block for many critics.
In this version, Maazel adopts a near ideal tempo shaving over 5 minutes off his earlier reading, and the concentration of the musical line is exceptional, and the glorious climax has a genuine ecstatic release. This 3rd emerges as a secure recommendation.
The overall verdict on this set is sonically "WOW", artistically more of a mixed reaction, largely because of the approach to the Second Symphony.It's certainly not run of the mill, but neither is it the whole story.
Well worth exploring at the cost, this set provides fascinating insights into these works, and frequently takes the listener on a different journey from the usual one through the mind of Mahler, but even I as a declared admirer of Maazel as an artist recognise difficulty with some of the interpretational aspects of this set, so the recommendation is with caution.

5 Stars for recording and playing, but 4 stars for interpretation not because it is deficient in any way but because its individuality at times will not suit everyone. 4.5 Stars Overall. Stewart Crowe.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A new Mahler cycle, Maazel's third, ranges from ordinary to excellent in Sym. 1-3 16 Nov. 2013
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Although Maazel has disappointed me with his Mahler in the past, I found a good deal to enjoy in his new concert cycle from London. It displays him at his best (Sym. 3), his blandest (Sym. 1), and somewhere in between the two extremes (Sym. 2). Reviews to each of the three performances are listed below with their URLs - for some reason, Amazon offers no way to provide hyperlinks - sorry. .

Note: Each review begins with the same introduction before proceeding to the actual review.

Sym. 1
Score: C/B
Mahler Lorin Maazel Philharmonia Orchestra

Sym. 2
Score: B/B+
Mahler Symphony No 2 Resurrection

Sym. 3
Score: B+/A
Mahler Lorin Maazel Philharmonia Orchestra

(The split scores reflect the range of the various movements.)
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
With Maazel mannered and tired-sounding, these readings never get off the ground 14 Nov. 2013
By Andrew R. Barnard - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Decades after making a controversial Mahler cycle with the Vienna Phil, Lorin Maazel is back with the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd symphonies on a budget priced release (at least as a download) with the Philharmonia. Critical view has been mixed on Maazel's Mahler, but the little I heard from his Vienna cycle was rather tame and uninteresting, discouraging me from acquiring the rest of the set.

Since you never know when an interpreter may come alive, I bought the present recording with the hopes that Maazel would have changed for the better. Unfortunately, in each of the three symphonies offered here, Maazel trudges predictably along, with little feel for drama. There is a modern fad of Mahler-lite that cuts down on Mahler's unrestrained emotion in favor of leaner textures and less impact. But the problem here isn't that Maazel is breezy, as Mahler readings tend to be these days. On the contrary, we feel that everything is dragged out, with a tendency to linger. Is there anything to be gained from gratuitous slow-downs? On many occasions Maazel deliberately draws out climaxes--is he trying to add to their weight? Perhaps it does add weight, but the beauty and compactness of the whole is lost in the process. As a whole, Maazel seems unable to let the music naturally unfold. Where is the Mahler of unrestrained passion and volatile energy? Here one feels that the defining qualities of Mahler's temperament are downplayed. Since blandness is the afflicting flaw, I won't individually cover each individual symphony. Sufficient to say, none spring to life, although the "Resurrection" seems particularly staid. Is Maazel intentionally trying to smother the thrills? One wonders after countless moments of usual frenetic excitement pass by with calculated coldness.

Is there anything to compensate? The recorded sound is fine without being special and the Philharmonia doesn't have a virtuoso sound to compete with the likes of Berlin or Vienna. But are there some who prefer their Mahler resigned, verging on ponderous? Perhaps, but for me it would be hard to find anything special in this set when considering the wealth of options from Bernstein, Tennstedt, and Abbado, to throw out a few names.
0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Why another Mahler cycle from Maazel? 28 Nov. 2013
By J. K. Davis MD - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The start of yet another Mahler cycle. Maazel recorded uneven and mainly uninspired Mahler with the Vienna Philharmonic and the New York Philharmonic. I wish I could see new insights or progressing understanding of the the scores, but with the exception of the 3rd symphony I see little of that here. The 'Titan' is particularly uninspired. I believe only Haitink has a larger total of Mahler recordings than Maazel, and while he hasn't been the most inspired interpreter of Mahler I believe his sum total contains more worthwhile performances than Maazel. If you own Bernstein (Sony or DG), Levine (no 8th) or Abbado
(especially his later Berlin live recordings) you don't need to hear these, although as an obsessed collector of Mahler and Bruckner I'll probably pick up the rest of the series as they roll out.
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