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Customer Discussions > Classical Music forum

Best Mahler Symphony cycle?

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Showing 1-25 of 53 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 8, 2012, 9:47:38 AM PST
which cycle is your pick?

Posted on Dec 8, 2012, 10:12:52 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Dec 8, 2012, 4:14:15 PM PST]

Posted on Dec 8, 2012, 10:16:16 AM PST
That's for Bruckner, Ken. Have we ever done a Mahler one?

Posted on Dec 8, 2012, 10:27:54 AM PST
KenOC says:


Posted on Dec 8, 2012, 10:30:29 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 8, 2012, 10:46:55 AM PST
Skaynan says:
Ken: Simpson's right. It's Bruckner cycles.

I think a perfect Mahler cycle is impossible. My favorite Mahler recordings are allways all over the place; there are no two symphonies by him that I like by the same conductor/orchestra (perhaps, just perhaps, my favorite 6th and 9th are both Karajan's. but it changes almost weekly for me with Mahler).
However, for a very good, all round set I recommend Bertini's surprising Mahler: Symphonies Nos. 1 - 10
All in all, it's very very good. You also get one of the best modern recordings of "Das Lied".

Posted on Dec 8, 2012, 11:10:37 AM PST
KenOC says:
"Ken: Simpson's right. It's Bruckner cycles."

Scroll down. The Mahler cycles follow Bruckner's.

Posted on Dec 8, 2012, 11:58:17 AM PST
Dichterliebe says:
Recommended: Mahler: The Complete Works - 150th Anniversary Box. A cheap way to be a completist with some very fine recordings.

Posted on Dec 8, 2012, 1:34:32 PM PST
Tero says:
How did any of you survive listening to even two cycles all the way through? Are you in your 80s?

Posted on Dec 8, 2012, 1:36:28 PM PST
Skaynan says:
Hehe Tero: Not remotely close to 80 here, but I was enchanted by Mahler since I'm 17 years old, and he is one of the few composers I keep coming back too all my life.

Posted on Dec 8, 2012, 4:07:56 PM PST
I've never been particularly interested in
one point of view in Mahler and my
personal favorites have happily existed
outside of any cycle.

1. Boulez/Chicago
2. G.Kaplan/LSO
3. Bernstein NYP
4. Szell/Cleveland
5. Barbirolli/New Philharmonia
6. Szell/Cleveland or Boulez/Vienna Philharmonic
7. Tilson Thomas/LSO
8. Ozawa/Boston
9. Walter/Columbia or Zander/Philharmonia
10. Wigglesworth/BBC National Orchestra of Wales (Cooke)

Posted on Dec 8, 2012, 6:18:39 PM PST
HB says:
1. Solti/Chicago or Joo/Amsterdam Philharmonic
2. Mehta/VPO or Bernstein/LSO on DVD
3. Mehta/L.A. Phil. or Bernstein/NY Phil.
4. Szell/Cleveland or Maazel/VPO
5. Solti/Chicago (first version) or Abbado on DVD
6. Boulez Vienna Philharmonic (I love the Szell recording but he skips the first movement exposition repeat which is extremely important to me)
7. Abbado/Chicago
8. Kubelik/Bavarian Radio Symphony
9. Neumann/Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra or Abbado on DVD with Mahler Youth Orch.
10. Rattle/Berlin Phil. or Ormandy/Philadelphia Orchestra (Unfortunately, there is no DVD of the Cooke version of the Mahler 10th. I sincerely hope somebody tapes it soon.)

Posted on Dec 8, 2012, 6:24:23 PM PST
KenOC says:
Oopsie! While I was impatiently replying to queries, I failed to note that the thread is about Mahler, not Bruckner. Well, an easy mistake to make! ;-) Have deleted my original post. Here are our prior Mahler picks:

1 - Chailly
2 - Gielen
3 - Tennstedt
4 - Kubelik
5 - Solti
6 - Abbado
7 - Bernstein (DG)
8 - Bernstein (Sony)
9 - Bertini
10 - Inbal

Posted on Dec 8, 2012, 6:50:09 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 8, 2012, 7:00:35 PM PST
K.J. McGilp says:
I want to mention my preferred Mahler recordings.
1 Muti/Philadelphia EMI
2 Several, no clear choice. Ozawa, I like the quickened tempo in the closing choral section. Bernstein DVD and Sony CD. Mehta VPO. etc.
3 Ozawa and Horenstein. Bernstein DG, DVD with VPO.
4 Colin Davis and Inbal
5 Several, Karajan, Bernstein DVD, Solti 1970 etc.
6 Bernstein DG
7 Bernstein DG
8 Bernstein Sony and Abbado DG
9 Karajan, DG Karajan Gold
10 Slatkin and Lopez-Cobos I really love the Mazzetti completion.
As far as a complete set go's I think I would opt for a blending of Bernstein's DG and Sony sets.

Posted on Dec 8, 2012, 10:05:47 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 11, 2012, 8:16:11 AM PST
R. Kopp says:
I think the easiest single-conductor sets for me to live with would be: the Kubelik (rustic & lyrical, to be absurdly reductionary); the newest Tennstedt edition from EMI with bonus live performances of 5, 6 & 7 (dark-hued and spontaneous); & the Bertini (clean and about as close to classical as Mahler gets), not necessarily in that order. Do I lose all credibility here if admit I'm also rather fond of Abravnel? The EMI 150th Anniversary Edition might be better than any of them. The DG compilation is also excellent, and the old Brilliant box is surprising good (and quirky). For a long time I've hankered after the New York Philharmonic box of radio broadcasts. What I've heard from that is electric.

Two partial sets are worth mentioning: the Mitropoulos box on Music & Arts (Symphonies 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9 & 10 [excerpts]), very exciting music-making; and the James Levine box, missing only symphonies 2 & 8.

I like the eloquent way Bernstein talks about Mahler rather more than the way he conducts him. That might sound harsh but we all owe a lot to Bernstein for the Mahler resurgence. Bruno Walter too, of course.

Posted on Dec 8, 2012, 10:18:30 PM PST
Cavaradossi says:

I don't understand what you mean by wishing someone would record the Cooke completion of Mahler's Symphony No. 10. The first several recordings (the Ormandy/Phil Orch was the first) were of the Cooke version. Recording other completions has been a fairly recent thing. Perhaps I misunderstood you.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 8, 2012, 10:20:32 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 8, 2012, 10:28:14 PM PST
R. Kopp says:
HB mentions that he specifically would like to see a *DVD* recording of Cooke's completion.

Posted on Dec 8, 2012, 10:24:39 PM PST
Cavaradossi says:
R. Kopp

Thanks. I read that twice and missed the DVD reference both times. You can understand my puzzlement. I can only plead that it is closing in on 11:30 PM and I'm rarely at my sharpest at this time of night.

Posted on Dec 8, 2012, 10:38:11 PM PST
KenOC says:
Just for the record, it appears that Cooke prepared two and possibly three completions of Mahler's 10th, so I suppose you've got to specify which you want. Too bad he didn't invite a couple of friends to "improve" his completions -- he could have been a regular Bruckner.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 8, 2012, 10:43:31 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 9, 2012, 7:50:05 AM PST
R. Kopp says:
Maybe the first performing version was under-Cooked. Now maybe we have too many Cookes. We are probably over-Cooked at this point, or maybe just confused.

Posted on Dec 8, 2012, 11:58:51 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 9, 2012, 12:20:00 AM PST
Skaynan says:
HB: you picked Addado/Chicago for the 7th. It's my favorite recording of the work as well (shares this honor with Horenstein) but it seems most people think his newer BPO recording is better. Glad you agree with me about it.

RK "we all owe a lot to Bernstein for the Mahler resurgence. Bruno Walter too, of course."
I would add Klemperer to this distinguished short list. And Schoenberg, although not a conductor, was an influential enough figure to help a lot in this as well.

Posted on Dec 9, 2012, 5:23:01 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 9, 2012, 5:25:27 AM PST
scarecrow says:
Bruno Walter doing the Fourth was my first hearing;still wonderful then Bernstein and New York Phil years ago, decades ago;

Solti and CSO (Chicago) is still a favorite, and then Barenboim and Chicago;

Then Boulez with(Cleveland, CSO, and Vienna) and Abbado and Berlin Philharmonic

Riccardo Chailly and Concertgebouw is also very refined.. . as is Gergiev and Rotterdam, London, He did all of them in New York City. . .

Also try Leif Segerstam with Helsinki, and Danish National Radio Orchestra. . .

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 9, 2012, 6:20:40 AM PST
I pretty much concur wit R. Kopp's suggestions of Bertini and Tennstedt. The Gielen set is also excellent, but it's pretty pricey.

You can fill in Levine's set with a couple of available live recordings of the 2nd - the one on Orfeo with the VPO is excellent.


In reply to an earlier post on Dec 9, 2012, 7:16:24 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 9, 2012, 7:24:27 AM PST
HB says:
"I don't understand what you mean by wishing someone would record the Cooke completion of Mahler's Symphony No. 10."


I have some very good news: On January 8th, there will finally be a Cooke version of the Mahler 10th released on DVD and it is in the superior Blu-ray format. However, it is part of an entire set using nine different Mahler conductors, all conducting the Concertgebouw. It also includes Das Lied. Amazon has a pre-order price of 88 dollars. Individually, the set could cost over 200 dollars.

Mahler: Symphonies Nos.1-10 [Blu-ray]

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 9, 2012, 10:03:41 AM PST
R. Kopp says:

Thanks for posting the news! That Concertgebouw set looks excellent. I'm glad to see that it's also going to be available on plain vanilla DVD for dinosaurs like myself.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 9, 2012, 11:39:57 AM PST
I prefer music from the Triassic period.
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Discussion in:  Classical Music forum
Participants:  25
Total posts:  53
Initial post:  Dec 8, 2012
Latest post:  Mar 4, 2013

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