MAHLER: Symphony No. 1 in D "Titan." Symphony N o. 3 in D minor. Symphony
No. 4 in G. Symphony No. 5 in C Sharp minor. Sytmphony No. 6 in A minor
"Tragic." Symphony No. 7 in E minor. Symphony No. 9 in D.
James Levine was respected as a Mahler conductor, and here we have all of his RCA recordings . There also are available recordings of Symphony No. 9 with the Munich Philharmonic, Symphony No. 2 with theVienna Philharmonic, and Das Lied von der Erde with the Berlin Phioharmonic. He never recordecd Symphony No. 8. Sonic quality on these RCA recordings is disappointing; surely the best are Symphony No. 1 recorded in 1974, and Symphony No. 6 recorded in 1977, both with the London Symphony recorded in Walthamstow Town Hall. Audio is quite good on both of these, which cannot be said for the rest. The Chicago recordings were made in Medinah Temple, a sprawling venue with defeated the engineers, and the Philadelphia Orchestra recordings were made in the Scottish Rite Auditorium, an equalhy problematic venue. Neither of these two orchestras is heard to advantage, with thin sound, and a lack of orchestral sonitary so essential in this music. Admirers of James Levine might with to have this compilation; it is super-budget privce. Each of the 11 CDs comes in its own cardboard slipcover; there are no program notes, nor a booklet. Skip this one, for sure.
R.E.B. (Juhy 2016)