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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NOT for the beginner., 4 Oct. 2011
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This review is from: Mahler : Die 10 Symphonien & orchesterlieder (10 symphonies & orchestral songs) (Audio CD)
Two caveats about this boxed set. Firstly, the only documentation is a track listing with the years each symphony was recorded. Secondly, to my knowledge, it is the only boxed set where the fourth symphony is split across two discs. At the price, it has competition from EMI in the form of the Tennstedt, Rattle and Bertini sets, all of which have better presentation. However, for those of us who count as Sinopoli fans (my hand goes up) this is a real bargain. The recorded sound might just count as the best ever for a Mahler cycle. Much of this must be attributed to Sinopoli, who was one of the few conductors to tame the dry, unforgiving acoustics of the Royal Festival Hall during his Philharmonia tenure. His residence there also coincided with that of Tennstedt's legendary Mahler performances with the LPO. In many ways, Sinopoli's readings provided a foil to Tennstedt's. I vividly remember a week in 1993 in which I was able to hear Sinopoli conduct Mahler 7 on a Saturday night and experience the same symphony under Tennstedt the following Friday. The received wisdom was that Sinopoli was the cool analyst with Tennstedt conversely providing emotion and experience. Possibly. But just listen to the frenzy Sinopoli whips up in the finale of the first and fifth symphonies and the first movement of the eighth (my candidate for best recording of this symphony ever made). My thought is that Sinopoli makes us listen to the music, whereas many other conductors (notably Bernstein) want us to hear their own experiences filtered through the music.
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