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.
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