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James Levine Conducts Mahler: Symphonies Nos. 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9 & 10 [Box set]

Gustav Mahler , James Levine , The Philadelphia Orchestra , London Symphony Orchestra , Chicago Symphony Orchestra Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

Price: $18.68 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

James Levine Conducts Mahler: Symphonies Nos. 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9 & 10 + Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1 - 4 / Piano Concerto No. 1 / A German Requiem / (8) Lieder + Schumann: The 4 Symphonies
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: The Philadelphia Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: James Levine
  • Composer: Gustav Mahler
  • Audio CD (March 25, 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 10
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B0041LXX2G
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,256 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

- German pressings of the immense Sony Classical Masters Catalog in smart, desirable and collectible multi-disc editions - The Sony catalog is replete with legendary artists and many of the greatest recordings of the classical repertoire - Box fronts feature large, prominently displayed photo of the featured artist - Slender, shelf-friendly boxes; CD's housed in space-saving slipsleeves

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
91 of 96 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Young James Levine Conducts Mahler November 16, 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I'll post a detailed review of the performances at a later date, but I first want to try and clear up misinformation about this box set.

For a while Amazon incorrectly labeled this as Levine's RCA recordings of the Brahms Symphonies, and Sony has incorrectly listed Symphony No.3 as being performed by The Philadelphia Orchestra.

Having ordered the box from Amazon and having it in-hand, here's what's actually in it:

Symphony No.1
London Symphony Orchestra

Symphony No.3
Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Symphony No.4
Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Symphony No.5
The Philadelphia Orchestra

Symphony No.6
London Symphony Orchestra

Symphony No.7
Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Symphony No.9
The Philadelphia Orchestra

Symphony No.10 (Cooke)
The Philadelphia Orchestra

The 8 symphonies are spread across 10 discs and come in slip cases. There are no liner notes and not even a booklet with recording information.

Again, I'll post detailed reviews of the performances later, but I wanted to let people know they could safely buy this box and that Sony has not discovered an unreleased recording of the 3rd Symphony with Philadelphia.

UPDATE 1: I compared the CD of the 5th Symphony in this box with the 2001 reissue by hooking up two CD players to my receiver and toggling between the two. I could hear no audible difference between the discs. So I think it's safe to say that Sony used the same transfer.
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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Front Rank Mahler - don't be dissuaded! January 2, 2011
Format:Audio CD
In his review for the Gramophone some years ago of Levine's recording of the sixth symphony, RO (Richard Osborne) was scathingly dismissive of Levine's manner with the piece. In particular, he complained that Levine's way with the slow movement of the sixth `veers between fine balances, blandness, saccharine sentimentality and unmitigated uproar'. I cannot imagine why RO felt it to be so!

May we take a look at this reissue from three perspectives? Firstly, the recording quality throughout is superb. To me it is mildly ridiculous to complain, as does Osborne, that a `fourth horn is weak at bar so-and-so', etc. These recordings are all remarkable for their superb clarity and balance. Detail is thrillingly present without being spot-lit exaggeratedly (as is sadly often the case in Bernstein's CBS set). For faithfulness to the depths and heights, the whispers and thunderings of a Mahlerian orchestral sound these recordings are exemplary.

Second, the standard of orchestral playing is breathtakingly accomplished. Throughout this long symphony the orchestra (the LSO) perform with a consummate degree of concentration, individual phrasing, tone and colour. And the same can be said of all the orchestras that feature in this set - a testimony to Levine's excellence on the podium.

Thirdly, Levine's greatly impressive conducting. Osborne dismisses Levine's reading as `a trifle naive', a naivety that, he suggest, is the `product of a generation which has known neither war nor cultural collapse'.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Monumentally satisfying performances December 22, 2010
Format:Audio CD
This box set is a compilation of James Levine's itinerant and incomplete survey of Mahler symphonies recorded between 1974 and 1980 - and it is a revelation. The fact that he never got around to completing the series by recording nos. 2 and 8 is all the more to be regretted once you have heard the quality and intensity of these interpretations. These superlative recordings have been neglected since they were made in the 70's - between 1974 and 1980 to be precise, when Levine was just into his thirties, having finished his "apprenticeship" with George Szell and been appointed principal conductor at the Met in 1973. Here he directs three great Mahler orchestras: the LSO, the Chicago and, above all, the Philadelphia who play with a verve and commitment that perhaps reflect how comfortable they felt with him at their helm. The analogue sound of these recordings has been enhanced by 24 bit remastering and compares with the best modern digital versions, some very slight tape hiss notwithstanding - and another reviewer might well be right when he says that the 1980 recordings are digital, as they certainly sound as if they are.

There are so many breathtaking moments in these performances that it would be hard to select highlights, but one outstanding example is Levine's treatment of the last movement Adagio of the Ninth. Not even Karajan or Bernstein generate the sense of timeless flow and poignant beauty he achieves; details emerge without self-consciousness and climaxes are shattering. The closing few pages of the Scherzo, movement two, act as a counterpart and antithesis to all that ethereal verticality; it's all rumbustiousness and exuberance.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The young James Levine is in top form with Mahler
The young James Levine, abreast of a batch of outstanding young conductors, tackled these monumental works by Mahler with reeking confidence and self-assuredness, resulting in the... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Poincare
5.0 out of 5 stars Levine is a superb Mahler interpreter
You cannot beat this album for value. Levine is a superb Mahler interpreter. I've heard him perform several of the symphonies live (including #8 with the Chicago Symphony which,... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Roland Calvert
5.0 out of 5 stars interim approval
When I review a set, I usually try to hear most items before I write the review. I'm writing this one after hearing the Mahler First, and I call it "interim" because I'll update... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Stanley Crowe
5.0 out of 5 stars Incomplete, but Completely Enthralling
Between this partial Mahler cycle and Bernstein's complete one with the New York Philharmonic, I am a generally contented Mahler listener, though a few extra recordings on my shelf... Read more
Published 20 months ago by J. R. Trtek
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Mahler at a bargain price
Levine is a wonderful interpreter of the great Mahler symphonies. The Levine/CSO performance of Mahler's 3rd is my favorite version of one of my favorite pieces of music. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Honibee
5.0 out of 5 stars Very best M3, possibly best M4 and M6
I bought this because it is very inexpensive (I paid under 20 bucks), and I was on a quest for the best Third symphony. Well, I found it. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Kindle Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Mahler symphonies, James Levine concucting.
Perhaps I did not read the invitation to purchase "James Levine conducts Mahler" carefully, but only on receipt did I find that it does not contain Mahler Symphony #2,... Read more
Published 21 months ago by W Macdonald Price
5.0 out of 5 stars Looking for #8
A live 2005 Levine/BSO Mahler 8 can be had from the BSO as part of the 75th anniversary of Tanglewood.
Published 22 months ago by ClassicPost
4.0 out of 5 stars consistently exciting Mahler with only a few concerns
4.5/5
I agree with the several positive reviews. I was drawn to the collection by the 3rd Symphony with the Chicago symphony, which I consider the definitive recording of the... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Ethan E. Matthes
5.0 out of 5 stars Would be perfect with Nos. 2 and 8
I consider James Levine one of the "Mahler conductors" (e.g., Bernstein, Walter, Klemperer, Abbado, Mehta, Horenstein, Giulini, Haitink, Solti . . .). Read more
Published 22 months ago by Dienyih Chen
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