Claudio Abbado

The Symphony Edition

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Claudio Abbado: The Symphony Edition is a sturdy, cube-shaped box set of 41 CDs, bringing together many of the conductor's critically acclaimed recordings for Deutsche Grammophon. The great symphonists are represented by their most essential works, with full cycles by Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert, Felix Mendelssohn, and Johannes Brahms, Gustav Mahler's nine completed symphonies, five of Anton Bruckner's eleven symphonies, and important symphonies of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Franz Joseph Haydn. Abbado conducted a variety of ensembles for these recordings, including the Orchestra Mozart, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, the Vienna Philharmonic, the Berlin Philharmonic, and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, and all deliver first-rate performances, some of which are exemplary. While this may seem like a reference collection for Abbado's fans, it is an excellent set for newcomers to explore the symphonic repertoire, and Abbado is an exceptional guide to this repertoire. Recorded between 1967 and 2013, the mix of live and studio recordings makes the sound a little variable.