- Symphony No. 1 in B flat major ("Spring"), Op. 38
- Symphony No. 2 in C major, Op. 61
- Symphony No. 3 in E flat major ("Rhenish"), Op. 97
- Symphony No. 4 in D minor, Op. 120
As an admirer and conductor of Robert Schumann's four symphonies, Gustav Mahler felt obliged to make extensive revisions to help clarify textures, bring vivid colors to passages where opportunities for brilliance had been missed, and make myriad changes in dynamics. To a certain extent, Mahler succeeded in making Schumann's music quite a bit sharper and a lot more colorful, but the changes of orchestration in many instances reveal the arranger's hand too plainly, particularly in the brass and woodwind parts, and the mix of Schumann's Romantic scores with Mahler's post-Romantic orchestral effects seems a little weird and disorienting for anyone who knows these works well. Of course, newcomers absolutely should get to know the originals first, and there's no dearth of great recordings available; experienced listeners who make the comparisons between them and Mahler's revisions may well feel that what was good enough already should have been left alone. Yet Riccardo Chailly and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig have performed a valuable service in recording these much discussed but seldom played versions, and listeners who have been curious about the extent of Mahler's "tampering" may judge for themselves if he went too far. This double-disc package is strongly recommended for Mahler completists, but it is not essential listening for anyone else.