This set contains some very splendid Mahler performances - and also a lot of idiosyncrasies from the conductor. Maazel has made some distinguished recordings with the VPO - I think of the Sibelius and Tchaikovsky on Decca, and of this Mahler set among the complete cycles. As a conductor, Maazel has a tendency to over-rehearsal and a dotting of the 'i's and crossing of the 't's that makes Rattle seem slovenly. Sometimes, it just doesn't work (the downward scale at the end of the first movement of the 'Resurrection' symphony, for example). Otherwise, it can just seem a little overworked (the fourth symphony, first movement). Having said that, he has many fine momments, and the orchestra has even more. There are moments where the playing is simply ravishing, and the recordings are mainly excellent. At the price currently on offer, this is a no-brainer. I paid £45 in a shop for this set. Now it is available on Amazon for £22. This has to be one of the best bargains in the catalogue.
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