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Mahler: Symphony No. 8

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Customer Reviews

A Massive Work

The largest-scale of Mahler's symphonies is Sym.8, the so-called 'Symphony of a Thousand', in which the second part is a vast synthesis of forms and media embodying the setting of the final scene of Goethe's Faust as an amalgam of dramatic cantata, oratorio, song cycle, Lisztian choral symphony and instrumental symphony. Boulez is one of the great conductors of our time and this recording is no exception. Very good production also.

a fine addition to the Mahler 8 discography

I've listened to many recordings of Mahler 8 and find this recording to be among my favorites. The tempii are not hurried as I've found in other readings, the choir's pitch is good (or at least as good as can be expected for a large choir), and of course, the orchestra sounds fantastic - particularly the brass. On the downside, although the organ sounds pretty good, it is electronic (a Viscount) and some of the vocal soloists use too wide a vibrato than is tasteful (for example, in the Alles Vergängliche, the 2nd soprano soloist doesn't come close to matching the narrow, tight vibrato of the 1st soprano). All in all though, Mr. Boulez and his associates have done a fine job. I wish I'd attended the concerts held just prior to the recording.

Glorious Recording!

Boulez has out done himself with this recording. Live without a net, this is not for the faint of heart. The soloists are up to the task and the sound quality overall is quite good. This is one of the best I've heard in a while.


Genre: Classical

The Berlin State Orchestra (Staatskapelle Berlin) is one of several professional orchestras of high repute in Berlin. It is the resident orchestra of the Berlin State Opera (located in the Unter den Linden Theater) and, although it is not the leading orchestra of the city, it claims to be the oldest, tracing its ancestry to the year 1545, when the Elector of Brandenburg added a group of instrumentalists to the singers of his court chapel (Kapelle). In 1696, it was named the "Kufurstlichen Hofkapelle"...
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