Top positive review
6 people found this helpful
A wonderful supplement to whichever single conductor symphony set you favour.
on 9 July 2015
I have listened to and dipped into a number of Mahler sets over the years and the job of even starting a comparison is too vast a task for me. So I hope you will allow me just to make a few comments which I hope will be useful.
Let us start with recording quality. I have seen one review which was unenthusiastic about the 1949 Ferrier/Walter Kindertotenlieder. In recording terms 1949 produced German radio recordings which, although mono, are as good as anything you will hear. 1949 also produced excrable acetate recordings which once a little worn are ear-splitting. An example of the latter is Ferrier's Rape of Lucretia. Thankfully this Kindertotenlieder is very easy on the ear and is for me a highlight of the set.
So recording quality is not an issue.
So you know where I am coming from my overall favourite Mahler symphony set is Bertini. But I grew up with many of the recordings in this complete Mahler, mainly on LP. The Bob O'Riley recordings were my main reason to buy and I did so as soon as I saw the price at £13.57. Bob's Mahler 6 really divided the critics and conventional it is not. Maybe even eccentric but coming back to it after all those years I was as thrilled as when I first heard it. Number 9 is uncontroversially superb.
All the song recordings are worth hearing and many have attained classic status. The Klemperer recordings are among his finest.
Texts and translations are on disc 16 in PDF format.
To get this post free I also bought the Annie Fischer Icon box at £10. More recordings I fist heard on LP making a very welcome return to my library. The Schumann is worth more than the price of the whole set. Annie made all too few recordings so this set is one to treasure.