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Mahler: Symphonies 4 & 8

Jorma Hynninen , Hans Sotin , Gustav Mahler , Klaus Tennstedt , Nadine Denize , et al. Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Product details

  • Performer: Tiffin School Boys' Choir
  • Orchestra: London Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Klaus Tennstedt
  • Composer: Gustav Mahler
  • Audio CD (7 Aug 2006)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: EMI
  • ASIN: B000GH2WOY
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 373,237 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Symphonies 4 and 8 (22 tracks on 2 CD's) - Gustav Mahler

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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good Fourth but a fantastic Eighth 16 Feb 2010
By rjmcr
I'm a big fan of Tennstedt's dark and brooding Mahler and the craggy, earthy sound of his London Philharmonic. However, I can't help feeling that those characteristics count against them in this account of the Fourth Symphony.

There's depth of feeling, for sure, but it really is just too dark and heavy for Mahler's sunniest score. I don't feel there is enough contrast between the tone of the first three movements especially, and this ends up underselling the third movement where Mahler really does darken the mood before flinging open the gates of heaven at the end. That magical moment is a bit of a disappointment here, I'm afraid, with a distant and muffled bass drum stroke. The sound quality doesn't help, lacking the focus and clarity we have come to expect from more modern recordings.

Lucia Popp is an undoubted asset in the fourth movement and hers is one of my favourite interpretations of this music. Her smiling, pure tone is exactly right for the child's view of Heaven, but she never tries to sound childish. It's a pity then that the orchestra tends to dominate the sound picture throughout this movement.

This isn't a poor recording but I wouldn't consider it a first choice (Maazel probably still lays claim to that accolade Mahler - Symphony No 4 ), less still a 'Great Recording of the Century'.

The Eighth, however, is an entirely different matter. For many years this was the only recording of Mahler's Eighth in my collection. I now own several but every time I play this set I'm instantly reminded why I love it so much and it is still the benchmark against which I compare all others.
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