Classical Music Forum banner
1 - 1 of 51 Posts

· Registered
2,787 Posts
Obviously this is an impossible question to answer, as there are so many really good sets/cycles out there, and of the 20-odd I seem to have accumulated, only one never seems to get an airing (Gergiev's cycle, which I not only find brash, but I am also unhappy to listen to anything produced by Putin's little *******)

I have sentimental favourites as well as proper "musical" favourites, among the former the wonderful Neumann set on Supraphon. I also have a very high opinion of the Solti set, not just for his 8th, but there is a superb 6th, 7th there (and his earlier LSO 9th and 2nd are favourite recordings too...)

OK, best set, here goes.......a toss up between Rafael Kubelik and Michael Gielen, possibly a win for the latter because it contains the 10th and most other Mahler things too. But chuck in some of Kubelik's Audite recordings, and it'd tip the scales back the other way...

Easily overlooked is the Bertini cycle, which doesn't have a weak performance in it, although no individual symphony stands out as a top choice for me. Sinopoli has some real gems, and I have thoroughly enjoyed both the complete Dusseldorf set from Adam Fischer, and the near-complete Budapest set from little brother Ivan. I seem to see some quite dismissive assessments of Adam's set, and don't quite see why, perhaps just a little bit of Mahler fatigue from the critics? Incidentally the two Fischer sets are about as different as they could be, Ivan plays up more of the detail, Adam more of the form and flow, both work extremely well.

There are also some excellent individual performances in sets from Ozawa (not many I really like, though), Tennstedt (maybe they have lost their gloss over the years?) Maazel, Inbal, Haitink, Bernstein x 2, Chailly (debatably the best recorded set I have), Rattle, Abbado (his earlier 7th is a particular favourite), Boulez, Abravanel.
1 - 1 of 51 Posts