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Mahler Symphony No.8 [DVD] [2011] [NTSC]


Price: £16.39 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Mahler Symphony No.8 [DVD] [2011] [NTSC] + Mahler Symphony, No.2 [DVD] [2011] [NTSC] + Mahler: Symphony No.4 [Riccardo Chailly, Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig] [Accentus: ACC20257] [DVD] [NTSC] [2013]
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Product details

  • Actors: Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Erika Sunnegårdh, Ricarda Merbeth, Christiane Oelze, Lioba Braun
  • Directors: Riccardo Chailly
  • Format: Classical, Colour, DVD-Video, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: German, Latin
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Accentus
  • DVD Release Date: 26 Sep 2011
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005HK8L1S
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 31,251 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Mahlers Eighth Symphony is arguably the grandest and most ambitious piece of symphonic music ever written. The composer himself regarded it as his opus summum, and an incredible number of participants at the hugely successful Munich première in 1910 earned it the nickname Symphony of a Thousand. At Leipzigs International Mahler Festival 2011, Riccardo Chailly commanded almost 500 musicians, and the overwhelming result of their joint effort inspired the Leipzig-based and internationally renowned artist Neo Rauch to the painting for the cover of this DVD.

Review

This is an engulfing,enthralling experience. IRR OUTSTANDING. --IRR,Nov'11

How good to see Riccardo Chailly so radiant at the end of this great event.It's an exhilaration he earns through sheer hard work as well as injecting the adrenalin at most of the right moments.(Majority) of the singers are excellent,from two very different but keenly-projected lyric-dramatic sopranos,Erika Sunnegardh and Ricardo Merbeth,to Georg Zeppenfeld,whose bass is rock solid and expressive across a huge range.Chailly holds attention between movements and makes you realise how many soloists within the orchestra have to sing,too.His Leader,the superb Sebastian Breuninger,assists him between blazes in the most striking of chamber-musical moments.Breuninger shares the front desk of viloins in Claudio Abbado's Lucerne festival Orchestra,but this one Mahler symphony Abbado's forces have yet to tackle,and Chailly's rendering leads the field on DVD. Performance **** Picture & Sound **** BBC MUSIC DVD CHOICE --BBC Music Magzine,Christmas'11

...Chailly unearths a wealth of rarely heard contrapuntel details and secures a rare unanimity of response. Strongly recommended.EDITORS CHOICE --Gramophone,Jan'12

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Charles Eccles on 28 Sep 2011
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
The instant the credits appear on screen it is clear that both sound and picture quality on this blu ray are going to be state of the art. The production team at Accentus {largely responsible for the acclaimed Abbado/Lucerne Mahler cycle) seem to have perfected the art of recording these works. If there are problems, they are likely to arise from your reaction to the symphony itself, and, to some extent, Chailly's interpretation.
The playing of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra is uniformally excellent, and the soloists are all beyond reproach, rarely the case in recordings of this symphony. It seems invidious to single out any of them for special praise but the the two main sopranos, Erika Sunnegardh and Ricarda Merbeth in particular, are stunning. The important tenor part is beautifully sung by Stephen Gould, though in one or two places he has to strain a little to reach the high notes. The choirs too are excellent,producing a veil of sound, audibly {and realistically) placed behind the orchestra.
But here we come to the first problem: Mahler's contrapuntal writing in the first movement is so dense at times that the resulting sound lacks the sharpness we may be accustomed to in other works. Having listened to other recordings and in concert, I have however had to conclude that this is actually what it does sound like. I do not think even the Accentus sound engineers could make these passages sound clearer. Overall, however, the orchestral and choral sounds are clearly and crisply caught, with indivdual thematic threads coming over with remarkable clarity. The climactic finale of the first movement is thrillingly caught as is the finale of the symphony. I have never "felt" the percussion cut through the orchestral texture so clearly before.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By patrick hutton on 20 Jan 2012
Format: Blu-ray
Long being a favourite work of mine the thought of this massive work in pristine quality blue-ray picture and surround sound was to tempting to resist. This was also assisted by some more than favourable reviews. Starting with the picture this is as about as good as you can get from deep blacks to the glint off the brass, every facial expression is captured with amazing clarity. The camera work and editing are also state of the art with nothing missed from the showers of perspiration flying off the conductor to the mezzo soprano taking quick drink (of water) before the tenor solo and a possibly amusing comment between members of the violins.

The sound (I can only base my opinion on plain DTS) more than matches the picture. The balance is as close to perfect as i have heard for a recording of this complex work. The weight of sound at the closing of PartI and in the closing pages is overwhelming with a powerfull depth of bass. Every instrumental solo is well defined with telling contributions from the piano,celeste,harmonium and mandolins in the many chamber like eposodes in Part II. The only complaint would be I felt the contribution from the organ particularly the opening was rather weak It more than makes itself felt in the closing pages of the work. The soloists are all excellent in their various solos and ensembles and it is a difficult work to cast. To my mind there are strengths and weaknesses among the soloists in all the available versions on CD/DVD. The tenor Stephen Gould deserves a particlar mention for his heroric singing.

The choral singing is first rate with some beautiful hushed singing at the start of the Chorus Mysticus. Splendid contributions from the choir of the StThomas Kirche choir and the boys choir. The playing of the Gewandhaus Orchestra is sublime.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Adventurous on 18 Feb 2012
Format: Blu-ray
This is the best Mahler 8 I have seen...and heard. Chailly wips his players, singers and the audience into stratospheres of excitement and shows off the tender moments wonderfully. The finales to both part are simply thrilling. This video in Bluray is magnificent.
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3 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 29 April 2012
Format: Blu-ray
This conductor hasn't got a clue how to interpret Mahler or how to pace the 8th.

Fine sound and visuals (and that's all it seems to take to sway the other reviewers on here) can't compensate for such a shockingly bad interpretation. And why is the tenor soloist off? Of all parts!!!! Mahler would have kicked this shambolic lot out!

Get Tennstedt Festival Hall or Inbal's denon recording to hear two very great 8ths. Leave this in the bluray dustbin where it belongs.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 13 reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Astonishing picture and sound 8 Oct 2011
By Clive S. Goodwin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This is an instance where the technology has only just caught up with the music. Despite the valiant attempts by both Bernstein and Tennstedt in their respective periods to capture this work, the new Chailly version makes it clear what a long way there was to go.

Make no mistake - this is so phenomenally good in every respect that you will wonder how it could ever be bettered. After waiting for Abbado to complete his Mahler series, to no avail, here comes Chailly with the definitive 8th. Incidentally, the same forces have put out a Mahler 2 with the same wonderful results(my review to come).

I have never felt such a visceral impact from the crescendos and climaxes as in this recording.The percussion here is forcefully captured, cutting through the considerable orchestral heft like nothing before.The huge orchestra is outstanding in every respect, as is Chailly's conducting (facial tics notwithstanding).

The singers and choirs are uniformly excellent - I could find no fault.

This is a difficult piece to sit through in one sitting. Part one has its own momentum, and is more cohesive than the episodic Part two, so I had become used to listening spellbound through the first movement, and being guilty of having my mind wander in the second part until the last ten glorious minutes. Not so here. I was riveted from start to finish. If you are not moved to your core by the finale in this recording, you have no soul!

About the recording - you really owe it to yourself to listen to this on a good surround sound system. The DTS MASTER sound misses nothing. If you are a bit shy in this area, upgrade your system!

The picture quality is also impeccable in 1080p. This is where Bluray really shines - you can see every face in the huge choir clearly. The video editing is among the best I've ever seen.

Some Mahlerians are luke-warm on this piece. If so, give it another try with this disc. You will be moved and amazed!
45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
Stunning Mahler 8 28 Sep 2011
By Charles Eccles - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray
The instant the credits appear on screen it is clear that both sound and picture quality on this blu ray are going to be state of the art. The production team at Accentus {largely responsible for the acclaimed Abbado/Lucerne Mahler cycle) seem to have perfected the art of recording these works. If there are problems, they are likely to arise from your reaction to the symphony itself, and, to some extent, Chailly's interpretation.
The playing of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra is uniformally excellent, and the soloists are all beyond reproach, rarely the case in recordings of this symphony. It seems invidious to single out any of them for special praise but the the two main sopranos, Erika Sunnegardh and Ricarda Merbeth in particular, are stunning. The important tenor part is beautifully sung by Stephen Gould, though in one or two places he has to strain a little to reach the high notes. The choirs too are excellent, producing a veil of sound, audibly {and realistically) placed behind the orchestra.
But here we come to the first problem: Mahler's contrapuntal writing in the first movement is so dense at times that the resulting sound lacks the sharpness we may be accustomed to in other works. Having listened to other recordings and in concert, I have however had to conclude that this is actually what it does sound like. I do not think even the Accentus sound engineers could make these passages sound clearer. Overall, however, the orchestral and choral sounds are clearly and crisply caught, with indivdual thematic threads coming over with remarkable clarity. The climactic finale of the first movement is thrillingly caught as is the finale of the symphony. I have never "felt" the percussion cut through the orchestral texture so clearly before.
Ricardo Chailly plays the work pretty much "as written", and might appear slightly cool to some listeners compared to,say, Tilson Thomas. I would have liked a little bit more "schmaltz" at times, particularly in the "Dir, der Unberuhrbaren" section (20), where I would have preferred a bit more luscious sliding on the strings and heart-stopping "holding back" within phrases. But this is a matter of taste - it is beautifully played.
To sum up, this is probably the best Mahler 8 currently available and, as it seems unlikely that Abbado will record it with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, is likely to remain so for some time. Very highly recommended.
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
as if you're stepping into heaven 2 Oct 2011
By Mr John Haueisen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
In the first Amazon review of this Mahler's Eighth, reviewer Charles Eccles has nailed it.
This is the best-photographed, and best recording of the sound of M8 to date.
The orchestra is sharp and responsive to every request that Riccardo Chailly makes of it. The choirs mirror the orchestra's excellence, and the soloists do their part superbly, as well.

I found baritone Dietrich Henschel particularly good in his "Ewiger Wonnebrand," but I still prefer the DVD versions by Bernstein and Tennstedt, because of what appears a bit more passion put into the performance. What I'm saying is, if you prefer the recording quality of the singing and the view of it, this is close to perfect; if you're looking for "involvement" or passion in the artist, you might prefer to look to Kenneth Riegel in the Bernstein or Tennstedt DVDs. The same holds true for the sopranos and altos here.

Chailly equals Bernstein in emotional involvement and attention to detail--probably in nearly every area except dancing and leaping. No one but Bernstein was such a performer.

I would single out soprano Christiane Oelze for her perfect singing of the Mater Gloriosa's "Lift yourself to Higher Spheres." She was placed high in the hall, in front of the organ--effective, but I wish they could have managed a brief close-up in this all-too-brief, but beautiful role.

So, in summary, when I'm in the mood for a top-notch view and hearing of the brilliant Mahler 8th, I'll watch this one. If I have friends with me who care more for the emotions of the soloists or the conductor, I might prefer Tennstedt or Bernstein. Either way it's win-win, for you can't lose when you're letting Mahler's sublime music in M8 take you to heights that make you feel as if you're stepping into heaven!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Indispensable 13 Jan 2013
By CanadaCollector - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
This is one of the finest Mahler performances on any media, caught on the wing by Accentus. That everyone performs so well is more miraculous when it is live. The soloists, orchestra, choirs: one can't single out any when all sing or play their hearts out. Anyone who can sit through Alles Vergangliche without knowing one is in the presence of something very special, both from Mahler and these interpreters, must be a dull soul indeed. Buy this; if you have only room for one music DVD, I would nominate this one.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Revelatory performance 18 Jun 2013
By JohnB - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Although I've heard many recordings of "The Symphony of a Thousand" most of them have been overly bombastic and came off as bloated and borderline unruly. I bought this to complete the Mahler symphony and large orchestral performances for my DVD/Blu-ray collection. I was blown away by how much I enjoyed this particular performance. As it must have, the forces are larger than just about anything else you can buy that doesn't have a proscenium and large curtain. But that's where the "thousand" business ends. The orchestra is nothing like Dudamel's bloated combination of the LA Phil and the over-large Venezuelan groups he combined in Venezuela, and the chorus, although large, never gets to the point of being unhealthy to the ears. Don't misunderstand: There's plenty of volume here and with a large system, there's amazing scope to the recorded sound. But the playing is never harsh or large/loud for the sake of high decibels. The soloists are all quite good and the chorus is balanced to the orchestra, organ and amplified soloists. This is a very good, thoughtful and well-executed performance by a conductor I'd never considered as a Mahler man. I'll look for more Blu-rays by Maestro Chailly. And I must comment on the incredible difference in the old Gewandhaus Orchestra Kurt Mazur spent all those years with - they have a very current sound yet don't seem to have lost that Old-World capacity to make truly beautiful music. This Blu-ray disc came as a nice surprise.
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