You will probably be as incredulous as I was to learn that the greatest cycle of Mahler symphonies comes not from any of the usual suspects - Abbado, Bernstein, Chially, Haitink, Kubelik, Rattle, Sinopoli, Solti, Tennstedt - but from the unsung Gary Bertini, who spent the better part of his career as music director of the Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra. Unlike any of those more publicized sets, each of which includes a misfire or two, Bertini is consistently successful from first to last; his performance of each of these works can stand comparison with the very best available.
A host of accomplished conductors including Daniel Harding, Daniele Gatti, Bernard Haitink and Eliahu Inbal lead the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in these performances of Mahler's Symphonies Nos. 1-10. Recorded in Amsterdam over two seasons in 2010/11, the collection also includes 'Das Lied von der Erde'.
The release of Mahler´s Symphonies Nos. 1 + 2 starts the release the complete Mahler cycle with Paavo Järvi and the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra on DVD and Blu-ray. Each Symphony will have an introduction by Paavo Järvi.
This Philips Classics DVD Video is part of a series of films from the legendary Mahler cycle performed by Bernard Haitink and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in the early 1990s. This title presents Mahler's ground-breaking Symphony No. 1, subtitled "Titan" with its mighty successor, the Symphony No. 2, "Resurrection". Sylvia McNair (soprano), Jard van Nes (mezzo-soprano) and the Ernst-Senff Choir appear in the Symphony No. 2, along with Haitink and the Berlin Philharmonic. As a bonus feature, each DVD contains a Mahler Chronology (Life, times and Important dates) as well as a Mahler Gallery. Sound LPCM Stereo & DTS 5.1 Surround.
This fresh and exciting performance of Mahler's First Symphony reveals MTT and his orchestra on largely top form.... The playing of the San Francisco Symphony also is first class, with the exception of the flutes which not only sound more forwardly balanced than the other winds but play with such breathy tone that at lower dynamic levels it's sometimes difficult to discern the actual notes... I would count these faults less serious were it not for the fact that everything else about this production is so good. Still, on the understanding that nothing is ever entirely perfect, I can recommend this characterful performance with sincere enthusiasm. --