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Mahler: Symphonies 2, 4, 7, 9; Lieder (Emi France) Box set

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Product details

  • Orchestra: Philharmonia Orchestra
  • Conductor: Otto Klemperer
  • Composer: Gustav Mahler
  • Audio CD (17 Oct 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 6
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: EMI Classics
  • ASIN: B005EVV5GI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 164,174 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Product Description

Product Description

I will ship by EMS or SAL items in stock in Japan. It is approximately 7-14days on delivery date. You wholeheartedly support customers as satisfactory. Thank you for you seeing it.

BBC Review

Otto Klemperer was considered by many to be one of the greatest interpreters of Mahler, an understandable conclusion given that the two of them were quite friendly with one another. Mahler reportedly told him that, "if something doesn’t sound right, change it," which offers very little practical clues as to what influence the composer had on Klemperer’s recordings – which is where this mammoth retrospective set comes in. Spanning six discs from the 1960s, there are few documents that quite so consummately capture what is so often uncaptureable about Mahler.

From impulsive, mood-swing changes of key and character to the grandest of orchestral statements, Klemperer milks every nuance for all its worth. The second symphony is a monster prone to being too overblown, but one tamed effectively here thanks to the maestro’s caring, steering hand – the famous ‘death shriek’ is not quite as wild as, say, Simon Rattle’s with the Berlin Philharmonic, but it is slower and more staggering. Rather than stifling it, this gives it a more monumental heft, a perfect example of Klemperer just going with what sounds right, as Mahler wished.

Conversely, the finale of the fourth symphony nags incessantly at the heart strings in unstoppably poignant fashion. The tempo marking of ‘sehr behaglich’ (‘very comfortably’) may be what the score suggests, but this anguish is anything but – a revealing and bleakly bewitching attempt made all the better by Elizabeth Schwartzkopf’s delicate soprano. By the time we reach Das Lied Von Der Erde one wonders if there’s anything that Klemperer can’t bring an even hand to. Quite unsurprisingly, this also remains a gem of restraint and natural explosion. It would be a cliché to say that the gargantuan final movement’s half-hour length seems to pass by in many fewer minutes, but if anything that’s not doing it justice. Tentative and contemplative when necessary, but downright violent without warning too, its constant shifts and Klemperer’s ability to draw them out make it a classic recording.

Of course, it’s difficult to concisely appraise the full effect of six discs of Mahlerian tragedy, exuberance, worldliness and other-worldliness, but suffice is to say that Klemperer’s interpretations are frequently superb. They’re also authentic, or at least as authentic as they can be when it comes to such an enigmatic artist. For that alone, this is an indispensable set for anyone looking to get closer to Mahler.

--Daniel Ross

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By richard on 31 Dec 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I must confess to being a Mahler addict and I already had Klemperer's version of Mahler's 2nd in my collection. Despite the duplication, I thought this value-for-money boxed set was to good to pass up. I couldn't be more pleased with my choice.

These recordings date from the sixties but the remastering has been- well- masterful. You wouldn't know these recordings hadn't been made yesterday and they speak with an authority (Klemperer knew Mahler) that most modern interpreters can only dream of. I have yet to be fully reconciled with this version of the the 4th but the 7th & 9th are right there at the top of the tree alongside those of, say, Abbado with the BPO.

The cast available to Klemperer for the symphonies and the songs was truly outstanding. These recordings are must-haves for bargain-basement prices. If you love Mahler, grab them. You will never regret it.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By barthol on 21 Feb 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Klemperer's EMI studio recordings of Mahler's music are mostly fine, but they are not always the best Klemperer performances of this music that exist. The recording quality from EMI is generally excellent. If you explore the legacy of "live" Klemperer Mahler performances, available on other labels, you will not surprisingly often be forced to sacrifice something in terms of sound quality while gaining in terms of the added intensity and excitement of "live" performance.

There are at least five or six other Klemperer performances of No 2. The "live" Concertgebouw one from 1951 with Kathleen Ferrier singing the contralto part has a feverish, ecstatic and sometimes savage intensity to it that makes it one of the most amazing recorded performances (of any music) that I know. Not for weak stomachs! - but the quality of the recording is considerably inferior. Even so, it will blow you away. This Philharmonia studio version is great, but not in that league. There exists also a Vienna Philharmonic performance caught live in June 1963, with Vishnevskaya and Rössl-Majdan, in which the orchestral playing, while not that tidy, has the unmistakeable idiomatic "rightness" and authentic timbre that this orchestra can bring to Mahler's music: that it was "his" orchestra between 1897 and 1907 somehow magically still seems to come out. This performance, like the Amsterdam one, has very special qualities that make it essential listening for Mahler-lovers. However, the quality of the recording is a drawback: it is clean, but noticeably constricted and lacking in the depth that this symphony demands.
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5 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Tintagel on 7 May 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
At the end of the day I would not recommend any of these performances to be your only version. For sure the Second is a major player, but there are so many versions out there that can match it artistically AND are much better recorded, that it would be hard to justify placing this at the top of my list. If you are looking for something with historical value and a powerful conception that speaks from the very Heart of the Matter then this is great listening, but do make sure that you look elsewhere if you are not going to buy any other Resurrection.

I would say that the Ninth is somewhat better recorded, and I actually 'felt' it much more than I did the second. The outer movements speak, for me, as a Love of Life rather than as a Fear of Death, yet the irony of the inner movements is laid bare for all to see.

The Fourth actually seems to be bright and breezy. Lots of lovely playing, and of course some beautiful singing in the Wunderhorn finale. The Song recordings are all worth hearing too.

But what of that Seventh? I only allowed myself to buy this once I had collected and heard several other versions, and only once I was confident that I had something totally secure to turn back to. Several reviews of this version had pointed out some massive flaws, and oh how I concur. But I listened in real fascination, really enjoying every weird, wacky and wonderful moment of it!

The problem? Well Klemperer clearly had not idea AT ALL of how the piece should sound. Tempi are all over the place and make so little sense that the piece is sometimes unrecognisable. It often so slow that melodic lines break into fragments and hang about flapping in the wind. It's very, very funny. I loved it! Every ridiculous moment.
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4 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Paul Valentine on 19 Feb 2012
Format: Audio CD
Thanks 'oddball', recording techniques improved beyond measure circa 1962 and I would not buy anything before this date. Sadly Amazon continues it's 'hoodwinking' policy of giving copyright dates of the particular collection (completely meaningless) without giving that date the recording was produced (really important). After sending back quite a number of box sets (some where even the front photograph is out of sinc with the period), I most definitely will purchase this one, especially as I used to have them on vinyl. Thanks again for the IMPORTANT dates. Amazon please take note (though I know you won't.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
great performance and good sound 20 Jun 2012
By F. Gu - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is newly remastered. Other than the 2nd and 4th still sound somewhat mudded, the sound is bright and detailed. The "New Philamornia Orchestra" is phenomenal. Under Klemperer, even in his slow tempo the orchestra is still very well-controlled. Low brass section is unbelievably good. I bought this set only for the 7th which has been out-of-print for years. This set brings back this one-of-the-kind "snail-like" performance with the newly-remastered sound, which I believe is from the new "HQCD" release from EMI Japan (I have the HQCD version of the 9th and I compared that with the old release, the HQCD version sounds better than the old one and sounds identical from this one).
This set absolutely worth $30 and you'll get some of the finest Mahler recordings ever.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Buy this. Don't wait 6 Aug 2012
By En.N - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Some of the best from Mahler and his student Otto Klemperer. Don't hesitate. Get this before EMI
(which is under new ownership, so nobody knows what the future will bring) discontinues it!
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Buy it. Now! 20 Jan 2012
By Jay Adeff - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I have all four of these Mahler symphony recordings on separate CD's from previous reissues. Considering that some are now out of print (#7), this is a fantastic opportunity to own some of the most important and exquisite Mahler performance ever recorded at a fantastic price. Do not hesitate.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A Must Buy 16 Dec 2012
By J. R. Trtek - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Like at least one other reviewer, I purchased this boxed set in order to have Klemperer's account with the New Philharmonia of Mahler's Seventh Symphony, a recording that had been out-of-print for some time. My go-to version of this work has pretty much always been Leonard Bernstein's original account with the New York Philharmonic on Sony, but I think it's likely that after a few more sessions with it this rendition will supplant the Bernstein as my first choice. Both recordings are excellent, but somehow for me Klemperer's better evokes the era of Mahler than does Bernstein's, which is rooted in a more universal sensibility -- of course, others may prefer that insead. Point is, as much as I love the Bernstein, I think I'm getting to love the Klemperer even more. Meanwhile, the accounts of the Second and Ninth Symphonies and Das Lied von der Erde are considered classic or even definitive by some, and while I'm so sure about the latter I can definitely sign on when it comes to the former description. Between Klemperer and Bruno Walter, I have always preferred Klemperer's approach to Mahler, and while I don't know that I would consider these renditions of the Nos. 2 and 9 and Das Lied the best ever, I certain get a special feeling when listening to them -- I suppose because I talk myself into there being just two degrees of separation between myself and Mahler when listening to Klemperer conduct him. Even ignoring that illusion, the performances of those two works under Klemperer are marvelous to hear, and to me at least they sound better in this release than they have in previous editions. The remaining pieces in the set -- two songs from Des Knaben Wunderhorn, 3 Ruckert Songs and the Fourth Symphony -- are also very nice if not the high points of the release overall. Sadly, this boxed set comes with no notes at all, though the only work that is split between discs is the Symphony No. 9, whose first movement finds itself all alone with the complete No. 7. Despite those shortcomings, this is an excellent buy and at the price worth it for the performance of the Seventh Symphony alone. Recommended highly.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Warning! Get the 2012 EMI box with SAME contents... 21 Aug 2013
By D. Altschuler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
... because unlike this edition, that newer release (following this one by only a year or two) has completely re-mastered everything except the lieder following Sym. #4. That newer box is the same price as this one and makes this edition obsolete, good as this one is.
None of the other recent Klemperer EMI boxes were re-mastered - just the Mahler box.
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