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100 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For any one new to Mahler this set is fantastic value
There is not a dud in this collection and most of these performances rank among the finest available. The booklet included in this set has information which at the time of writing was not readily available at EMI and retailing sites. The Booklet indicates the recording and production date of each recording (I assume an (*) followed by a more recent date indicates the...
Published on 28 Aug 2010 by Anagnostic

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mp3 version a let down
I have had my eye on this collection for some time, and I have regularly poured over it in the "saved for later" section of my Amazon basket. I already have the 2nd and 6th Symphonies a la Rattle, and while they are not on my regular playlist, I wanted to explore Mahler's other compositions. While no one could argue with an asking price of less than 25 for a life's...
Published 10 months ago by Marc Hon


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!, 10 Nov 2013
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Finished listening to all 16 discs in 5 days forty eight hours ago - a roller coaster of emotions indeed. Many of them new and welcome recordings to me. Thinking over the experience, I reckon what EMI has done is to compile a soul of Mahler series rather than the finest recordings - for each work apart perhaps from the 1967 Janet Baker Ruckert songs can be be individually bettered. As a whole, however, I found it mind-blowing. You have all the works here in roughly chronological order (certainly the symphonies are). A few symphonies have had to be broken up so that long movements can be preserved intact, but this appears to have been rationally done. Some first impressions: symphony 1 opening doesn't have the detailed magic of Solti but the work leaps along charmingly under Giulini from one important crest to another to create a most satisfying whole; I was particularly impressed with Klemperer's 2nd and Das Lied - although the recordings are from the 60's, they're spacious with good detail and particuarly arresting; the 3rd under Rattle, although more modern, I had trouble in getting to grips with - I appreciated it more on second hearing, though; nothing at all wrong with the 4th in a 1970 version of Horenstein's - I've heard better overall eg. Haitink but there are some unique fine moments in this; symphonies 5 to 7 are all good, rugged perfomances; no recording I've ever heard does justice to the huge first movement of no. 8 as it would be heard in the concert hall, and this is no exception - but the second part is fine and moving; I really think EMI could have done better with the 9th, which after all is one of classical music's key works, than a 1964 recording of Barbirolli's - plenty of verve and passion here but the recording is simply not sharp enough in places despite a lovely adagio which I must say moved me; the 10th symphony has long been a problem - I can see why some Mahler enthusiasts stop at no 9 - because this is a unique work, partly a second farewell to life but also partly a new window opening on to the 20th century (I can't say influencing it as it wasn't apparently played until the 1960's - but to me it sounds like bits of the old century tangibly breaking off and floating off into the new)- Mahler completed the Ist movement and although the rest of it has been reconstructed from his sketches, I think it contains some of his finest music though without the unique flourishes Mahler could have given it - this performing version, however heart-rending, seems to need more rasp and breadth than Rattle gives it - he sounds almost classical. These aren't criticisims, however, for the discs work wonderfully well together. The song-cycles are also good - the Kindertotenlieder from the 40's are somewhat threadbare but then there is Kathleen Ferrier singing; the Knaben Wunderhorn under Szell have been a personal revelation - I can't recall hearing them sound so good as this. The last disc, of various piano and orchestral versions of the Ruckert kieder, and especially of the final song, seems a suitable and most beautiful spot to leave Mahler. Overall (which is the way you have to look at it) this box set is an amazing compilation and the fact it contains the complete works makes it irresistable. The highest praise I can give it is to say that as soon as I came to the end, I wanted to listen to it all again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning value, 14 Jun 2013
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This review is from: 150th Anniversary Box - Mahler (MP3 Download)
I remember buying budget LPs in the 60s (as a schoolboy that was all I could afford). Decca Ace of Clubs at 19/6d was my limit. Given an LP was typically 45 minutes, and a CD is 60-70 minutes this box set of 16 cds equates to over 20 lps which for the download version at 12.50 comes out at about 13/-. Allow for 50 years' inflation and the bargain is amazing. Of course that's a shallow basis for any judgement, but it makes the quality of these performances and recordings stand out even more. I haven't had the chance to play all 16+ hours yet, but I love the Ferrier sound on Kindertotenlieder. I've had the Janet Baker recording for years, but find her style mannered and contrived in comparison.

I have one complaint, but I think it's not a failing of this box set: when it gets imported into windows media player it apperars as one huge album, with the tracks seemingly in random order. I had to spend some time tagging and creating playlists, if I wanted for example to be able to play one of the symphonies with movements in the correct order, and not just every track starting with a 1. I suspect if I imported into itunes it would file things more intelligently, or maybe I just have to learn more about wmp settings!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gustav Mahler "Pure Genius", 24 April 2013
I have been listening and trying to get to understand the music of Gustav Mahler for the past 18 years now. I bought all of his symphonies on various labels, EMI, Collins, CBS, Naxos, Sony, Supraphon, conducted by the likes of Kaspszyk (No1), Bernstein (No2), Wit (No3), Wesler-Most (No4), Mackerras (No5), Neumann (No6), Halasz (No7), Gielen (No8), Walter (No9), and Ormandy (No10). All these cd's I class as old friends as they are all I have known and listened too with regards to Mahler's music. Apart from the Kindertotenlieder on the same cd as the 2nd Symphony I had no other songs or lieder written by Mahler. This was my reason for buying this box set to get all the song cycles and what a revelation they are. I bought the box set soon after release and it is worth every penny. I am not one for all this, well this is probably the best recording of this so and so piece but I know what I like. I ain't got the best hi-fi still going strong since 1996. I would be the first one to admit that I probably haven't got the most tuned musical ear but was self taught in the finer art of appreciating classical music but no matter. I love the music of Gustav Mahler. This box set is tremendous value for money, to download the box set for just over 17 is a steal. I bought a hard copy, the box artwork is attractive and relevant. The cd's are packed in cardboard sleeves, a little difficult to get out of the sleeve sometimes but no major disaster going on just fiddly. You get a cd-rom with all the lyrics (in English) on the 16th cd which is very helpful if like me you are Germanic challenged in the language department. If you are new to the music of Mahler you could not go wrong in buying this box set. To have all the works of a major composer in one place is a real treat. Well whats the sound like? It sounds good to me and I look forward to many years of listening pleasure. Who knows maybe some if not all of these recordings will become old friends in time. Buy it without hesitation and enjoy it loudly! 5 * purchase and music.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mp3 version a let down, 31 May 2013
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This review is from: 150th Anniversary Box - Mahler (MP3 Download)
I have had my eye on this collection for some time, and I have regularly poured over it in the "saved for later" section of my Amazon basket. I already have the 2nd and 6th Symphonies a la Rattle, and while they are not on my regular playlist, I wanted to explore Mahler's other compositions. While no one could argue with an asking price of less than 25 for a life's work in a box, I was swayed by the prospect of downloading the entire collection in MP3 format for less than half of that, and sealed with the carrot of 2 free MP3 credit dangled in front of me. As someone who has spent considerable time ripping his entire CD collection to lossless digital format, and who has never really purchased music to download before, I hit the purchase button and waited for the files to swell my hard drive. I regret my decision. While the music is undoubtedly fantastic as others have commented, the MP3 quality just isn't up to scratch. It sounds flat and lifeless in comparison to the very lively and engaging recordings I have on CD and flac files. I don't think the complexity of the music stands up well to being electronically compressed. I would not dispute the quality of the collection as a whole - buy it - just not in MP3 format. I still pour over the box set in my "saved for later" basket - but now with a greater sense of urgency to get the CD box set Gustav Mahler: Complete Works [150th Anniversary]to do the recordings justice.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful!!, 13 Jun 2011
This review is from: 150th Anniversary Box - Mahler (MP3 Download)
Amazing! This reads like a who's who of the classical world and contains the very best recordings of Mahler's music, it is just joyful from start to finish!! Amazing value!!
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34 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Attractively Comprehensive Budget Mahler Set, 29 May 2010
By 
Philoctetes (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This looks like a very gratifying set from EMI, with all the music, as far as I can see, including the lesser known songs and also piano & voice versions of those lieder better known as orchestral songs.

Of course, EMI's Mahler catalogue pales by the side of Deutsche Grammophon, but this box has many of the plums, including Szell's Wunderhorn lieder, Tennstedt's Symphony Of A Thousand, Rattle's no.10 and the Furtwangler/DFD version of the Wayfarer Songs. Barbirolli is represented by Symphonies 6&9 and also the Ruckert lieder (with Janet Baker).

Personally, I would have given No.3 to Tennstedt, rather than Rattle, and No.9 to Walter rather than Barbirolli, but that's just me. Can't tell from the listing whether No.5 is 'live' or studio - would be helpful to know, Amazon!

Very attractive at the cheap price, so if you don't have this music already, why wait?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful music at a wonderful price, 4 Mar 2014
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I can't fault the music and there is a lot of it on 16 discs. My only criticism is of AutoRip. It does not take in to account that you are downloading a multi-disc-set and keeps the original track numbering, So now I have 16 track 1s, 16 track 2s [etc.] to recode if I want to listen to [for example] Mahler's 4th Symphony. Not a fatal flaw but it could be easily fixed...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Value, 2 Jun 2013
By 
Mr. P. Matthews "the woodgnome" (Bradford, West Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 150th Anniversary Box - Mahler (MP3 Download)
As someone who is partially tone deaf, I leave the critiques as to the quality of the recordings to others. I've really enjoyed all the works I've listened to so far which is the important thing. As someone new to Mahler, what swayed me more than anything is that as space restricts me to MP3 downloads and in that respect this work is absolutely fantastic value for money.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great interpretations, 25 May 2013
By 
M. R. Sammons (Somerset. UK) - See all my reviews
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Surely it is impossible for one conductor to encompass everything in Mahler, and here are some treasured favourites and one-offs to set against the complete sets of single maestros. Klemeperer in the Ressurection and Das Lied, Barbirolli in nos 6 and 9, Janet Baker and Kathleen Ferrier in songs, plus some lesser known pieces.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars possibly, the finest way to obtain these works..., 24 Feb 2013
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This review is from: 150th Anniversary Box - Mahler (MP3 Download)
Has there ever been one cycle of these works that totally satisfied on all fronts? Maybe it's impossible for one conductor to excel in all of these pieces at once, I don't know. What I do know is that this box contains many of the finest performances of these works ever put on disc and once again, for the asking price, this represents amazing value.

Not being an expert on digital remastering techniques, there were many times when listening to ,say, the 2nd symphony or more especially, the incomparable account of the 9th with Barbirolli and the Berliner Philharmoniker, I was truly staggered by the results - the remastered symphonies sound as though they were recorded yesterday. The exception, perhaps, could be felt to be be Horensein's 4th - does it match the achievement of the old Szell, cleveland recording? Maybe not but it is a fine performance in its own right.

On a more controversial note, whilst the remastering, again, means that the Kindertotenlieder sound sonically amazing for their age, maybe I'm in a minority of one when I think that many of todays singers can sound better than Ferrier. I'm never quite sure about singers from the so-called "Golden Age".

Anyway, if you're looking for a Mahler box, don't hesitate. It's wonderful. One example, Sir Thomas Allens outstanding "Ich bin der Welt..."
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