Originally Posted by DarkAngel
To tide you over in the mean time you could settle for the Karajan/DG studio version at mid price, but I would say better selection is the newest Abbado/DG M9, live 2002 recording also with BPO on single CD. This is possibly best of Abbado's new Mahler series and can be purchased used at Amazon for under $10.
I listened to Abbado's 1988 recording of M9, first movement last night. It's been a very long time since I've given this peformance a good listen. For the most part, I really enjoy his interpretation. My main problems are with the recording. The cover says it's a "Live" recording, but it doesn't give much more info than that. The recording overall, I would describe as incoherent, and somewhat claustrophobic, the perspective almost sounds as if one is sitting right in the middle of the front row. Which isn't normally all bad, but the sense of space is really missing here. The instruments sound fine, but they seem to lack some space. It would be interesting to hear the difference between this one and his newer one. Another thing is that I can hear edits. I think there are a lot of edits here between the main live recording and "corrections" recorded later that were spliced in. I know everyone does it, but I don't think the editor did all that great of a job here. But, in the end, Mahler shines through and I had a very nice time listening. The flute solo at the end of the movement is very lovely here, as are the final closing moments of the movement. It's definately a recording I'm never going to let go of (it was a present from two of my best friends for my 19th birthday), but it does have its flaws. Hopefully soon I can get through the rest of the performance. After this movement, I listenened to Simon Rattle and the City of Birmingham orchestra create a little magic with the Bruckner 7th. Not as much magic as Karajan or Matacic, but still, very fine, if somewhat over dramatic at spots. I guess I should move this part to the Bruckner thread, when time permits.