Reissued by popular demand, this collection was originally offered in 1998 as a belated tribute on the centenary of Dimitri Mitropoulos's birth. This set presents some of Mitropoulos's finest performances of Mahler, one of his favorite composers (he premiered the Mahler Sixth in America and died while rehearsing Mahler's Third), drawn primarily from the 1960 New York Mahler Festival. The original booklet essay has been replaced with a note by UK critic Tony Duggan. Restored and remastered in 1998 by Maggi Payne.
This is a fabulous collection: an orgy of great music interpreted greatly. -- --Raymond Tuttle, Fanfare
This is an important set. The Ninth is among the best ever made. Throughout, Mitropoulos applies tempo fluctuations and rubato judiciously, leans into waltz and landler movements with a swing not found elsewhere, and always communicates the inner passions that animate this great music. -- --Dan Davis, The Absolute Sound
The Greek-born Dimitri Mitropoulos does not figure largely in the record catalogue. But on the evidence of these electrifying live performances, given not long before his death in 1960, and excellently remastered, he was one of the great conductors of our time. The playing has a lacerating intensity that reminds me of Toscanini -- had Toscanini espoused Mahler's music, instead of spurning it. There is one caveat: Mitropoulos makes cuts in No. 3, some of them quite substantial. How could he? His manifest devotion to Mahler should have precluded it. Yet in rhythmic incisiveness and clarity of texture, in fluidity of tempo, in naked emotional power, he is an ideal Mahler conductor. The performances of No. 5 and No. 6 are particularly wonderful. Mahlerians should swallow their sense of outrage and acquire the set. -- --David Cairns, Sunday Times (London)