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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A set of historical and musical importance restored to glorious new lights-THE top ecommendation? It's a candidate!
If the Decca Solti Ring changed the course of modern stereo recording and set the agenda for many years, then this set of recordings made throughout the 1960s changed the course of not just recording but the programming and balance of musical performance for the last half of the Twentieth Century until today. It is not true that there had been no post war recordings or...
Published 21 months ago by D. S. CROWE

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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Amateurish re-mastering of Bernstein's Mahler.
If your first encounter with Bernstein's Mahler conducting was from this set you could be forgiven for thinking him lacking in any appreciation of the importanceof microdynamic expression in Mahler's symphonies. I have the original LP's, and although some of them have an exagerated treble, they are far more communicative than this particular re-mastering. The later Sony...
Published 20 months ago by Dissily Mordentroge


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5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!, 29 July 2014
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This review is from: Gustav Mahler: The Complete Symphonies & Kindertotenlieder (Audio CD)
Main big surprise. What an amazing sound. All recordings from the 60s but you would never know. Incredible clarity. Not surprising, the ground breaking performances. At the current price, a complete no brainier. Get it now!
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Landmark Mahler- and Bernstein, 2 Jan 2013
By 
Graham Mummery (Sevenoaks, Kent England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gustav Mahler: The Complete Symphonies & Kindertotenlieder (Audio CD)
Leonard Bernstein's New York cycle of Mahler Symphonies was a landmark. It was the first released commercial recording of all Mahler Symphonies (excluding the Tenth) and perhaps, Bernstein's greatest recording achievement from his New York period. These recordings are also important in my appreciation of Mahler. I was given them many years ago on LP. As I replaced them with CDs, I bought the symphonies individually, often from Bernstein's later DG cycle Mahler: The Symphonies as it unfurled.

The LPs suffered from CBS then habit of keeping microphones too close to the orchestra which created a harsh sound. This Sony remastering has cleared this up giving a cleaner, more natural sound which makes the orchestral detail so much clearer, showing just subtle Bernstein was in this area even his approach was dramatic. Each CD is in a reproduction of original LP sleeves, though reading them is difficult without a magnifying glass. There's also a booklet with photographs of Bernstein at the time, plus essay exploring his close, if idiosyncratic, identification with Mahler. My one complaint with this set is that there is no libretto for some of the Symphonies. That said, at bargain price, this set is an attractive package, not least because the performances are outstanding. I rate them as follows:

-No.1 (5 Stars). The New York performance is brilliant and charismatic, though, astonishingly, Bernstein's later DG performance (Mahler: Symphony 1) is even better (the best I've ever heard).
-No.2 (5 Stars). My LPs had a fine, later, performance with the LSO. But the one here with the New York Philharmonic is more spontaneous. Bernstein's best recording of the work.
-No.3 (5 Stars) remains my favourite performance of the work.
-No.4 (4 Stars) I have felt Bernstein's to this symphony needed more lightness of touch. The remastering corrects this. Bernstein also has female singer which works better than the boy soprano in the DG recording.
-No.5 (3 Stars). This performance is OK, but it's completely superseded by the later DG recording Mahler: Symphony No.5 with the Vienna Philharmonic.
-No.6 (5 Stars). Possibly the best recording of this set, and more intense than Bernstein's later one Symphony No.6, Kindertotenlieder again with the Vienna Philharmonic, which I wouldn't want to be without either.
-No.7 (5 Stars). Bernstein holds this schizophrenic work together as well as anyone. The later version was a fine performance, but the generally faster tempi in this version have more dramatic tension and so give the earlier performance the edge.
-No.8 (5 Stars). I know no version of this symphony that is so physically exciting.
-No.9 (5 Stars). The New York performance is less idiosyncratic than the later DG set, though I also have a strong partiality for Bernstein's Berlin Mahler: Symphony No.9 which is available separately.
-No.10 (4/5 Stars). Bernstein only ever conducted the Adagio from No.10. From the performance here, one can only wonder what he might have made of the work as a whole.
-Kindertotenlieder (5 stars). As a "filler" to go with the Adagio from the 10th Symphony there is a wonderful performance of this song cycle with the great mezzo Janet Baker.

Coming back to these performances, I have been pleasantly surprised at how outstanding these recordings are. The enhancement of the sound works in their favour. Though there are great recordings in Bernstein's later DG cycle, the earlier performances are often more exiting, hence I rate more of them higher. Indeed, with two exceptions, I would go as far as to say none of the later recordings supersedes what is here. I would be more than content if this New York cycle remains my sole recording of Mahler's Symphonies.

The obvious drawback of this set, as with those by great Mahler conductors of the same generation (e.g. Haitink, Kubelik, Solti and Tenstedt) is the need to purchase a separate disk for a complete version of No 10. Despite Deryck Cooke's "completion" of the work being more authentically the composer than in many similar projects, these conductors strangely refused to perform it. Simon Rattle's brilliant Berlin performance of Mahler: Symphony No.10 shows there is no longer any excuse for this, and is my recommendation to supplement this omission. None of this, however, should detract from the achievement here: it's an outstanding monument to Bernstein's conducting and well as Mahler's music.
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8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING PERFORMANCES, 25 April 2012
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This review is from: Gustav Mahler: The Complete Symphonies & Kindertotenlieder (Audio CD)
For any Mahler lover, this is a must buy. An spectacular stereo sound of this sixties performances by The New York Philarmonic (with the only exeption of the Eighth, by The London Philarmonic). The LP replicas are exquisite as well, although the double ones (second, third and sixth with ninth in one of them) are difficult to open, as the aperture is in the center once opened.
A great pack, with reference versions on it. At a price of less than 3 £ each, are you still reading me instead of buying it?
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational Mahler from Lenny., 28 Oct 2012
By 
P. D. Ball "pedro" (Hampshire UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gustav Mahler: The Complete Symphonies & Kindertotenlieder (Audio CD)
I have neglected Mahler in recent years although I have many recordings by several different conductors mainly on Vinyl,however I have avoided purchasing a complete cycle by any one conducter until now. I`m glad I waited. This is a marverlous set, some of which are in my opinion the finest performances as well as recordings I have ever heard. No1,3,4 and 5 are oustanding and provide some new insight into works I am very familar with. Bernstein's extremes of tempo suits these symphonies very well, I feel, and Mahler's music benefits from the highlighting of individual instruments that CBS was noted for during the period these were recorded.
Great recordings at a great price.Thankyou Amazon!
Peter Ball
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "A Ha'p'orth of tar !", 12 Sep 2012
By 
Robert Beese (Cheshire, U.K.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gustav Mahler: The Complete Symphonies & Kindertotenlieder (Audio CD)
I agree with most of the above but, yes, some of us actually LIKE those "repros of terrible LP covers". The discs ARE "beautifully packaged" BUT it is (almost) impossible to get them out of the 2CD sleeves.(I'm assuming that none of us is so gauche as to grasp the rim of the disc twixt finger and thumb!). There IS a technique for persuading them to drop out. To avoid not having to do this every time you have, then, to get plastic sleeves and scissor a thin strip off each edge.(There is not room otherwise to get the plastic sleeve back into the cardboard sleeve!)
The Zinman set suffers from the same fault. Beautiful recordings and beautiful artwork. But you can't get the discs out of the sleeves! WHY?
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST BOX SET FOR YOUR COLLECTION., 14 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Gustav Mahler: The Complete Symphonies & Kindertotenlieder (Audio CD)
Why:Let your ears be the judge.This is the best cycle of Maher complete symphonies that you will come back after listenning to other version.The sound is pleasant to your ears despite all the blemishes.Mahler symphonies should be enjoyed instead of looking for faults.Diamond is not perfect neither you could find an ideal box set of his symphonies.I bet if you could find a better complete cycle than this one,it is either not yet recorded or may be in the future.This set is highly recommended to any who has an aversion to Mahler symphonies.If you are not convinced after listenning to these symphonies then you need your ears examined.If you are knowledge then tell me why I am wrong.I am currently listenning to the 8th symphony and I could not believe it is so melodious and moving and now after 60 years this my ideal choice in a desert island choice along 1,3,5,9....Symphony 8 is alone is worth the price of the box set........Just to add Solti version of the 8th symphony will your expensive Hi Fi but lack emotion
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Amateurish re-mastering of Bernstein's Mahler., 1 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Gustav Mahler: The Complete Symphonies & Kindertotenlieder (Audio CD)
If your first encounter with Bernstein's Mahler conducting was from this set you could be forgiven for thinking him lacking in any appreciation of the importanceof microdynamic expression in Mahler's symphonies. I have the original LP's, and although some of them have an exagerated treble, they are far more communicative than this particular re-mastering. The later Sony set is apparently an improvement though.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bernstein - the BOSS!, 23 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Gustav Mahler: The Complete Symphonies & Kindertotenlieder (Audio CD)
Performances fantastic - recordings really good considering they are getting on a bit. Price very competitive. What more could you ask for? I have been a Mahler addict ever since I first bought the Haitink Concertgebouw vinyl 9th in 1967.
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1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The outstanding Bernstein, 11 Mar 2013
By 
Dr. Victor Costa Di "socratespinoquio" (Ferreira do ZÍzere, Portugal) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gustav Mahler: The Complete Symphonies & Kindertotenlieder (Audio CD)
Bernstein,s Mahler complete cycles are almost identical. The surprise in this columbia/sony perfomances is the high level of energy he combines with the the fast and slow "tempos". The tapes are very good, for the state of the art, when they where recorded, but a little restrainned with the coral singing. The soloists are on their prime. Not to be missed by mahlerians.
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1 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GUSTAV MAHLER, 6 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Gustav Mahler: The Complete Symphonies & Kindertotenlieder (Audio CD)
THIS IS A LOVELY ALBUM AND I REALLY ENJOY LISTENING TO IT. I WOULD RECOMMEND THIS TO ANYONE WHO ENJOYS MAHLER.
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