Originally Posted by DarkAngel
I already owned the 1,5,7 from this Abbado set so was aware of thier quality especially the 1984 CSO 7th which is in my top 5 Mahler list, but the real unknown jewel for me is the 1988 VPO M9......what a great performance that is! Seems Abbado was at his creative Mahler peak in the mid 1980s turning out some great performances up until very early 1990s work.
The newest BPO M9 was my favorite of the newest Mahler series by Abbado, but this VPO M9 surpasses it in all respects even sound quality! I am so impressed I will add it to top five list and remove the mighty live Karajan M9 so beloved by all critics......
Symphonies 1,5,7,9 are excellent with 7,9 making top 5 Mahler list.
Symphonies 3,6 very good just a notch below others in overall quality esp M3
Symphonies 2,4 these are only average, set would improve if 1977 CSO M2 used
Symphony 8,10 unrated
After hearing this set from 1980s and early 1990s I am struck how different Abbado sounds now in his new Mahler series with BPO. New work is more polished and restrained perhaps with some new insights and nueances added here and there, but at the expense of diminshed drama and vitality, the hero is safer more secure with easier journey in Abbado new vision of Mahler.......where is the dark under currents, the danger lurking??????
It is somewhat similar to Bernsteins later DG cycle which was often slower and sometimes more insightful as in 1,5 but also less volitile and dramatic
(will continue later)