on 12 November 1999
These recordings, along with his Bruckner, are well known recordings of Mahler for a long time. This CD conversion sounds better (to me) than their first issues, especially on the 3rd. Wished that this set has 1972 recording of the 1st (420 080-2 PH) instead of 1963. 1972 version is much better.
on 12 October 2015
I didnt expect Haitink's set of Mahler's symphonies to be as fantastic in parts as they are. For me the highlights are the truly great recordings of Numbers 2,3,6,8 and 9. Number 2 is fantastic and is only let down by the fifth movement which is very good but doesnt have a coherent feel to it. However its a great recording.Number 3 is rightly regarded as one of the greatest of Haitink's set, it just is so appealing,it is action packed and thrilling from beginning to end. Number 6 is wonderfully lyrical with just the right balance of highly strung emotions and sensible control. Number 8 is a real revelation for me, it really is beyond words how amazing Haitink's recording of the Symphony of a Thousand is, Haitink makes it sound so right, so atmospheric, so passionate. I really feel it is the greatest recording i have ever heard of this extremely difficult work.Number 9 is similar to Klemperer's in that it is understated throughout and plain but at the same time powerful and deeply affecting. The other symphonies in this set are not as successful, in my opinion. Number 1 is a spectacularly weak performance, with zero excitement. I have heard that the later remake from 1972 is much better and the latest recording of it by Haitink made about ten years ago is marvellous.Number 4 is very plain but also very boring, conveying little of the work's deep complex emotions.Number 5 just doesnt succeed in bringing the mighty symphony to life and is quickly unmemorable. Theres no plumbing of the depths of this work . Number 7 is very disappointing also and is again unmemorable. The Adagio from Symphony Number 10 is good. Overall Haitink's set is very good but is let down by some quickly forgettable bland performances but also has fantastic recordings namely Number 3 and 6 and 9.