Mahler: Symphony No. 8
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The Gergiev Egg!
The Gergiev - LSO Mahler Cycle is akin to the Curate's Egg! There are some good parts if you can find them but in between there are parts you do not want to touch. I was present at all the Gergiev Mahler performances at the Barbican and this one which was recorded over two concerts at St Paul's Cathedral. The acoustics in St Paul's rendered this performance totally inaudible on the night. The sound from the orchestra and singers was carried straight up into the Dome. Like all the other Symphonies in the Mahler Cycle this has had a lot of work done back in the recording studio! The title LSO Live should not be taken to literally! Gergiev never got to grips with this Symphony or controlled the orchestra and the mass of chorus and performers. Indeed the Poco Adante at the beginning of Part 2 was far to loud and hurried. The best of the Gergiev Mahler Cycle is No7. If you think this No 8 is good then please listen to Mahler Symphony No 8 by Pierre Boulez ( Staatskapelle Berlin ), Claudio Abbado ( BPO ) or Jascha Horenstein ( LSO ) - they will blow you away and you will truly hear this amazing work at it's best.
.'Symphony of a Thousand Diappointments'
Within a very few minutes, I knew that this recording was not what I might have hoped for. The choir struggle to make themselves heard above the reverberations of their own voices. The wind instruments are distant, almost Inaudible at times. I should have listened to the free sample......
Full blown Mahler
No half measures with Gergiev-this is the full treatment in a high octane performance that is as exciting as it is powerful. If you like big Mahler then this is for you. Powful climaxes caught well by the recording.
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