Mahler: Complete Symphonies Nos 1-9 (Decca Collectors Edition) Box set
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SOLTI GEORG / CHICAGO S. O.
Top Customer Reviews
I have been absolutely delighted with this set and have no hesitations about recommending it. Mahler was above all a superb orchestrator and the subtleties of each symphony are excellently conveyed on these cds which also provide more than enough force and vigour when required. The short fourth movement of the mighty second symphony is for me one of the most divine four minutes of music ever written and this performance is spine-tingling. So too is the fifth symphony; the rubato with which Solti conveys the climax of the second movement is for me unmatched by any other recording, and is noticably more convincing than the highly acclaimed Rattle/BPO recording.
In short, this set is a fantastic buy, as you would expect from the price. Sadly, however, the standard set by these recordings is so high that I am often left feeling slightly disappointed whenever I now here Mahler performed live!
Indeed,the playing in every symphony is little short of miraculous and as for the interpretations they rescue this composer from an undeserved reputation as a self-indugent neurotic.
Whatever other versions of the complete symphonies you possess (I have Rattle and Neumann) Solti's cycle is unique in its elemental power and unsurpassed in terms of playing.
Of the other eight, I would say that the stand-outs are the first, third, seventh and eight. These are the ones tha I turn to again and again; the sonic weight of the eight is astonishing. The playing of the final movement of the seventh makes the case that this symphony is not the 'problematic' cause that even the late, great Deryck Cooke thought it was, IMHO.
I would urge anyone who would like to try out music of great imagination to go for Mahler. It is such another world, and so optimistic. Just think of all the work that went in to recording these nine monumental works, and you can see that these are great value. I highly recommend them!
Right that said, let's get down to brass tacks - this is, I believe,one of the original cycles to be recorded and still the best, in my humble opinion. Solti brings out the best in the Chicago orchestra and the emotions are epic - just listen to number 2 or 8, or the adagietto from 5 - wowsa!! On a personal note, Solti wrings every drop from the percussion, and especially the timps - just listen to the end of the last movement of the Resurrection and those epic 2 last timp strikes.
To those who say other interpretations are more emotional, let me just say that Solti's cycle was pioneering. He was the Walter Scott of conductors at a time when Mahler's popularity was starting to grow.
Still in doubt? Listen to the start of Number 8 - happy now?!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Poor reproduction with mixed recordings on discs. Badly presented and marketing write up was not clear.Published 17 months ago by David Stokoe
I have had this set for a few years. It has grown on me. At first, I'd have given it three and half stars. Now, my rating stands at (just over) four stars. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Arnar
Georg Solti’s history of recording Mahler is rather interesting: from 1964 to 1971 he completed a Mahler cycle for Decca with the London Symphony Orchestra in symphonies 1, 2, 3... Read morePublished 20 months ago by MR LINKS
This the best Mahler complete symphonies since slice bread.The box should carry a Heath warning listening to the cd at high volume will damage your hearing listening to the... Read morePublished on 12 May 2014 by Mr. M. Beebeejaun
At the time of these recordings of Mahler's nine Symphonies by Decca during the 1970/80s Sir Georg Solti and his Chicago Symphony Orchestra were arguably the finest orchestra in... Read morePublished on 8 Dec. 2013 by A/Burrows
this is definitely the definitive box set of mahlers 9 symphonies.three things decided me,your excellent reviewers and from experience you can't go wrong with decca or solti and... Read morePublished on 4 Feb. 2013 by cliff d.
Solti recorded the first two symphonies in London in the 60s, then recorded them again, together with the rest, with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Read morePublished on 2 Jan. 2013 by Geoffrey Bellamy
Overall pleased -great recordings - but a couple of reservations.
Symphonies 2,3,7,8,9 all split over 2CDs - I guess this is unavoidable due to length, but a pity... Read more
This is a very good buy as it has good quality performances of all the symphonies. It's my opinion that the 'Reserection'No 3 is not as good as the Bernstein recording, but it's... Read morePublished on 4 Feb. 2009 by M. EDWARDS