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Mahler: Symphony No.8 Import


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Product details

  • Performer: Tölz Boys' Choir, Berlin Radio Chorus, Cheryl Studer, Sylvia McNair, Andrea Rost, et al.
  • Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Claudio Abbado
  • Composer: Gustav Mahler
  • Audio CD (15 Jun 1999)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import
  • Label: DG
  • ASIN: B000001GP1
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 94,058 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Mahler: Symphony No.8 In E Flat - "Symphony Of A Thousand" / Part One: Hymnus "Veni creator spiritus" - "Veni creator spiritus"Berliner Philharmoniker 1:33£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Mahler: Symphony No.8 In E Flat - "Symphony Of A Thousand" / Part One: Hymnus "Veni creator spiritus" - "Imple superna gratia"Berliner Philharmoniker 3:34£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Mahler: Symphony No.8 In E Flat - "Symphony Of A Thousand" / Part One: Hymnus "Veni creator spiritus" - "Infirma nostri corporis"Berliner Philharmoniker 2:09£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Mahler: Symphony No.8 In E Flat - "Symphony Of A Thousand" / Part One: Hymnus "Veni creator spiritus" - Tempo I. (Allegro, etwas hastig)Berliner Philharmoniker 1:17£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Mahler: Symphony No.8 In E Flat - "Symphony Of A Thousand" / Part One: Hymnus "Veni creator spiritus" - "Infirma nostri corporis"Berliner Philharmoniker 2:44£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Mahler: Symphony No.8 In E Flat - "Symphony Of A Thousand" / Part One: Hymnus "Veni creator spiritus" - "Accende lumen sensibus"Toelzer Knabenchor 4:53£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Mahler: Symphony No.8 In E Flat - "Symphony Of A Thousand" / Part One: Hymnus "Veni creator spiritus" - "Veni, Creator...Da gaudiorum praemia"Toelzer Knabenchor 4:13£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Mahler: Symphony No.8 In E Flat - "Symphony Of A Thousand" / Part One: Hymnus "Veni creator spiritus" - "Gloria sit Patri Domino"Berliner Philharmoniker 2:57£0.79  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Mahler: Symphony No.8 In E Flat - "Symphony Of A Thousand" / Part Two: Final Scene From Goethe's "Faust" - Poco adagioBerliner Philharmoniker 6:49£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Mahler: Symphony No.8 In E Flat - "Symphony Of A Thousand" / Part Two: Final Scene From Goethe's "Faust" - Più mosso (Allegro moderato)Berliner Philharmoniker 3:15£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Mahler: Symphony No.8 In E Flat - "Symphony Of A Thousand" / Part Two: Final Scene From Goethe's "Faust" - "Waldung, sie schwankt heran"Berliner Philharmoniker 4:46£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Mahler: Symphony No.8 In E Flat - "Symphony Of A Thousand" / Part Two: Final Scene From Goethe's "Faust" - "Ewiger Wonnebrand"Berliner Philharmoniker 1:53£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Mahler: Symphony No.8 In E Flat - "Symphony Of A Thousand" / Part Two: Final Scene From Goethe's "Faust" - "Wie Felsenabgrund mir zu Füßen"Berliner Philharmoniker 4:42£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Mahler: Symphony No.8 In E Flat - "Symphony Of A Thousand" / Part Two: Final Scene From Goethe's "Faust" - "Gerettet ist das edle Glied" - "Hände verschlinget"Berliner Philharmoniker 1:03£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Mahler: Symphony No.8 In E Flat - "Symphony Of A Thousand" / Part Two: Final Scene From Goethe's "Faust" - "Jene Rosen, aus den Händen"Berliner Philharmoniker 1:52£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Mahler: Symphony No.8 In E Flat - "Symphony Of A Thousand" / Part Two: Final Scene From Goethe's "Faust" - "Uns bleibt ein Erdenrest"Berliner Philharmoniker 2:04£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Mahler: Symphony No.8 In E Flat - "Symphony Of A Thousand" / Part Two: Final Scene From Goethe's "Faust" - "Ich spür' soeben" - "Freudig empfangen wir" - "Hier ist die Aussicht frei"Berliner Philharmoniker 1:19£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Mahler: Symphony No.8 In E Flat - "Symphony Of A Thousand" / Part Two: Final Scene From Goethe's "Faust" - "Höchste Herrscherin der Welt"Berliner Philharmoniker 4:02£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Mahler: Symphony No.8 In E Flat - "Symphony Of A Thousand" / Part Two: Final Scene From Goethe's "Faust" - "Dir, der Unberührbaren" - "Du schwebst zu Höhen"Berliner Philharmoniker 3:52£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Mahler: Symphony No.8 In E Flat - "Symphony Of A Thousand" / Part Two: Final Scene From Goethe's "Faust" - "Bei der Liebe" - "Bei dem Bronn" - Bei dem hochgeweihten Orte"Berliner Philharmoniker 4:57£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Mahler: Symphony No.8 In E Flat - "Symphony Of A Thousand" / Part Two: Final Scene From Goethe's "Faust" - "Neige, neige, du Ohnegleiche"Berliner Philharmoniker0:54£0.39  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Mahler: Symphony No.8 In E Flat - "Symphony Of A Thousand" / Part Two: Final Scene From Goethe's "Faust" - "Er überwächst uns schon" - "Vom edlen Geisterchor umgeben"Berliner Philharmoniker 3:23£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Mahler: Symphony No.8 In E Flat - "Symphony Of A Thousand" / Part Two: Final Scene From Goethe's "Faust" - "Komm! hebe dich zu höhern Sphären" - "Blicket auf zum Retterblick"Berliner Philharmoniker 7:16£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen16. Mahler: Symphony No.8 In E Flat - "Symphony Of A Thousand" / Part Two: Final Scene From Goethe's "Faust" - "Alles Vergängliche"Toelzer Knabenchor 5:43£0.79  Buy MP3 

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By rjmcr on 20 Dec 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
For many years, I'd inexplicably neglected Abbado's Mahler but this beautiful recording of the Eighth showed me what I'd been missing. It's an extremely thoughtful and romantic account, similar in style to Tennstedt's award-winning EMI set with the LPO [ Mahler - Symphonies Nos 4 and 8 ]. Abbado never goes for cheap tricks or grandstanding effects but merely allows the luscious score to unfold at a natural pace, generating its own momentum and tensions, of which there are plenty. Orchestral playing is quite superb and anyone who doubts the BPO's credentials in Mahler really ought to hear this. Instrumental detail and balancing is exquisite and it's clear to me that Abbado sees this very much as a symphony rather than some sort of oratorio-cantata hybrid.

The chorus is just about the right size; big enough to generate the right power and volume but not too big for the sound engineers to handle. Their diction and singing is also exceptional, making this possibly the best choral contribution in this work on record.

The soloists, as ever, require a degree of compromise. Cheryl Studer and Sylvia McNair are a little too light in tone for my liking and Studer has one or two little wobbles; surprising, considering her exceptional Strauss and Wagner recordings of around the same time. Nevertheless, they both make some beautiful sounds even if they fall short of the gold standard set by Christine Brewer and Soile Isokoski for Rattle on EMI [ Mahler - Symphony No 8 ].
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Mr Lloyd on 9 May 2003
Format: Audio CD
This Symphony, often thought to be Mahler's most important work, is presented here with reassuring authority. Claudio Abbado seems to feel his way through the music, rather than carve. The first movement, a glorious hymn to the Creator Spirit, at 23 minutes long, is given generous space by Abbado, but never lacks the necessary movement, or tensions. In the second movement, the Final Scene from Goethe's "Faust", Part II, the same consideration of space is shown. Each new entry into the texture feels organic, and the whole movement leads convincingly to the exuberant finale.

This recording is a live recording (though sadly with the applause cut from the end), and as such bears certain marks, such as the occasional slightly flat top notes in the trumpets, occasional entries not quite together, and other things which can, and often do, go wrong in concert. Minor quibbles aside, the playing from the Berlin Philharmonic is fantastic, with energetic and powerful singing from the Rundfunkchor Berlin, Prage Philharmonic Choir and the Tölzer Knabenchoir. Soloist are Cheryl Studer, Sylvia McNair, Andrea Rost, Anna Sophie Von Otter, Rosemarie Lang, Peter Seiffert, Bryn Terfel and Jan-Hendrik Rootering. The solo singing is also of very high quality and blends well with the orchestra and choir in the final choruses.

The sound quality of the disks is first-rate. The balance within the orchestra is accurate and the orchestra balances against the choirs. The soloists were placed at the front of the stage during the concert and so are easily heard at the front of the mix. My only disappointment sound wise is that the organ is often not really loud enough.

However you really should not be put off by those negative comments. This is a moving account of Mahler's 8th and is highly recommended for its extraordinary emotional drive, excellent performance and beautiful sound.
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8 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Scriabinmahler TOP 500 REVIEWER on 19 Mar 2007
Format: Audio CD
Compared to some lame performances of 8th released in recent years (Chailly's cool headed account for example), Abbado's account of Mahler 8th is not bad. Probably the most impressive recording available after Sinopoli's miraculous account.

In both 1st and 2nd parts, it takes a while until it really heats up, but once it takes off the splendor and sumputuousness of sound is just amazing. Sheer richness of texture and harmony, thanks to excellent recording, really gives the sense of how Mahler tried to be ambitious in composing this symphony. Solists are pretty good too, very passionate but none of the operatic diva non-sense which often spoils so many performances of this symphony. And the magnificent ending with bang.

Everything is fine, but I can not help asking more. Like Resurrection Symphony or Scriabin's Poem of Ecstasy, Mahler 8th needs something transcendent and something more extreme, to penetrate into higher realm. Horenstein and Solti almost do it. Sinopoli very close. Bernstein falls apart before getting there. Abbado, no. We need to wait yet for a conductor who has capacity to match greatness of this symphony.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John R Watson on 24 May 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Impressive for a live performance; little else to compare it against but marvellous sound quality and tremendous cast. Expensive but worth it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 13 reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
An Eighth with few excuses 2 May 2002
By Paul Bubny - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As big a fan as I am of Jascha Horenstein in Mahler, and the BBC live recording of his "legendary" 1959 concert in particular, I have to say that this Abbado set--also recorded live, although probably with a little patching done here and there--needs fewer allowances made for it. As such, it's a better candidate for "the one Mahler Eighth to have if you're having only one."
To put the Abbado set into perspective, I'd first like to say a little about the Horenstein. Yes, Horenstein was on top of his game the day he conducted that Albert Hall concert, and yes, it must have been a life-changing experience for those who were there. And for us listening today with benefit of hindsight, there's an emotional charge in knowing that this performance helped lead Mahler's music out of the wilderness of semi-obscurity it wandered into following the composer's death. (On Disc 1 there's even a bonus interview with "our hero.") But for those who want to take it on its own terms, without the weight of 40 years of "legendary" status behind it, as a recorded document the BBC set simply needs too many apologies. The recorded sound (stereo) does a fine job of conveying the orchestral spread but renders the chorus and soloists rather dimly. The instrumental and vocal mishaps are numerous, but the bronchially-afflicted audience coughs right on cue, every time! And the CD package for this 80-minute, Latin/German choral work includes no libretto, a serious omission especially since much of the text verges on the unintelligible, thanks to the microphone placement and the hall's acoustics.
The Abbado set, by contrast, needs few excuses made for it. Okay, I'm not sure the light-toned Berlin Philharmonic has the right massiveness of sound that the work really needs in its more heavily-scored sections (although in the more chamberlike passages, the playing is exquisite). This is accentuated by DG's characteristically bass-deficient (if very clear) recording in a bass-deficient hall. Also, 81 minutes' playing time spread (thinly) over two full-priced CDs is a gyp these days, especially when Zubin Mehta's Decca "Resurrection" Symphony fits onto one disc of 81 minutes. But these quibbles are more than offset by Abbado's clear-sighted conducting, which manages to hold this unwieldy structure together while keeping its mystical and "Greatest Show on Earth" elements in balance; by the committed, nuanced and technically sure solo voices (Solti's set matches Abbado's in this regard, but Solti emphasizes brilliance and slickness over all else); by the thrilling choral work; and by the sense of a great live occasion that comes across full force.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Soul Stirring. 14 May 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I bought this recording because of the starry array of soloists combined with Abbado's conducting. I was not disappointed. I am familiar with this work only through the venerable Solti recording. Imagine my surprise at the wealth of orchestral detail revealed in this reading. One particular section so amazed me that I had to play it 3 or 4 more times to be sure I hadn't imagined it. At the very end of the 'Veni Creator' movement there is a series of upward vocal runs started by the soprano soloist and taken up by other voices. Beautifully executed and captured, truly breath-taking. I checked my other recording and was not to be able to hear this. This work is soul stirring, glorious, magnificent, and I recommend this version.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Mahler's 'only opera' very well served by maestro Abbado ... 14 Jan 2006
By Pater Ecstaticus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I do believe, or feel, that Mahler's Eighth Symphony is being served well with restraint and thoughtfulness on the conductor's part, like here with maestro Claudio Abbado. I mean, we have here a performance of Mahler 8 that - to me at least - sounds exactly as it should: deeply concentrated and contemplative, but at the same time appropriately stately-festive. A natural-sounding ebb and flow of musical waves. Mahler's Eighth as a Natural Event unfolding as it should ... I believe that the recorded sound does add to the atmosphere of this performance, as it is a bit tenuous, with instruments sounding somewhat veiled and just a tadd distant, which results in a certain 'softness' in the orchestral sound, but all in all the resulting soundscape is natural and wide enough. At the same time, the sparse, chamber-musical-like passages are rendered wonderfully delicate and sweet, also helped, of course, by Claudio Abbado's sensitive, almost 'lyrical' conducting. Choirs blend with the orchestra in a completely natural way, as well, to my ears, not standing out at all.
And maestro Abbado really knows what the difference between 'p', 'pp' and 'ppp' (and even 'pppp'?) is about, so that in Claudio Abbado's hands this music doesn't sound like just one big surging sea of forte and fortissimo waves of sound as it would in the hands of other conductors. In one word: lovely. It all really grabs my attention - like most of maestro Abbado's Mahler -, from beginning to very end, but especially because of the marvellous dramatic concentration that Claudio Abbado maintains, especially evident in Part II. Take for example the hushed intensity which the final Chorus Mysticus and orchestra maintain for two and a half minutes, only then going louder, magnificently building up to an intense peroration. How astoundingly different from Berlioz' inspiration for the very hushed ending - Gretchen arriving in Heaven - of his La Damnation de Faust: more like Mahler's 'Mater Gloriosa swebt einher' ...
I simply must point out here, in this recording (because I love it so much) the sweet intensity of phrasing when Mater Gloriosa comes 'soaring in': heart-achingly beautiful how under Claudio Abbado's sensitive conducting the orchestra makes the most of all the little pauses and musical effects here, savouring all of its sweet beauty, without EVER becoming sentimental. Truly astounding!
And the singing could not be bettered as well, I believe. Choruses all sound marvelously grand, but at the same time nicely clear and with crisp articulation. And what a lovely, cheeky boyish sound the Toelzer Knabenchor has! Conveying the complete ease and self-confidence of those who have never been tried by the trials of Life on Earth, but who now nevertheless reside with the angels and in the light of the Creator ;-) At least no distractingly annoying wrong diction of the words here, with these (almost) all-German-speaking choruses, which to me is kind of a distraction in many recordings. And then the Doctor Marianus of Peter Seiffert (on which, for me, hinges much of my appreciation of any whole recording of this symphony as such): I really love his voice and his finely dramatic rendition of the role here. Mr. Seiffert's beautiful, I would say almost lyrical voice conveys, I believe, just the right amount of yearning and longing, and at the same time pressing need necessary ... Just sweet (like Andrea Rost's Mater Gloriosa)! Well, for the rest, this all-star cast is of course near perfect ... I guess, with such a beautiful performance by such marvelous artists as these, it just comes down to taste: how could this performance be worth anything less than 'four stars'. You may like a different approach to this flabbergastingly astounding music (take Solti, or Rattle), but this recording still remains one of the best ever, IMHO.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Why Abbado deserves the fifth star 30 Sep 2005
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I haven't heard the much-praised Sinopoli set, but Abbado's combines wonderful execution and a firm sense of balance (maybe too much, if you want Part II to be less cool and atmospheric.) What gives him the highest rating for me is the vocal cast. It's enormously expensive for any orchestra to import eight top-flight soloists who each sing for only a fraction of the total length of the symphony. Really, in our time only Berlin and dG could combine forces to produce the cast we hear on this CD.

And they are very, very good. I can only ompare them to the singers on two Bernstein readings, and one each from Haitink, Colin Davis, and Michael Gielen. There is no competition, even though individual soloists, like Ben Heppner on the Davis performance, make a bigger impression than any single singer on the Abbado, just as Bernstein's unique intensity makes a deeper impression than Abbado's conducting, fine as it is. All in all, for its combination of excellence in orchestra, chorus, and soloists, I make Abbado's Eighth my first choice.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Grand performance, dead and sterile acoustic 19 April 2013
By Jurgen Lawrenz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Take a look at the picture and the forces involved in a recording of Mahler's 8th. Then take note of the names of the performers.
This should have been a roaring success, with all the glamorous personnel involved.
Instead it turned out to be crushing disappointment.
On one hand, the performance is as grand and powerful as one could wish. But this work is a challenge not only to the musicians. It is also a challenge to the sound recording staff, and I'm afraid to say they failed us. Many recordings of this work put the 300-odd performers in a cardboard box; but what happened here I cannot explain except by "the art of pushing dials" on the part of some utterly unmusical people. The orchestral sound is so hard and dry and entirely without its natural resonance in a big hall that after half an hour of close listening your nerves begin to complain about this torment of your ears. The organ sounds like a cheap imitation of a real one, as if the computer was employed to add it. There is no distance between orchestra and chorus, so there is a conflict between what you see and what you hear. It adds up to a most unnatural aural perspective and extremely irritating to anyone who has ever heard a fiddle or a trumpet or a singer in real life.
At most, therefore, this recording will serve only for sampling moments. When you come to it from the magnificent soundscape of the Solti recording, it is like coming out of a refreshing shower into a concrete box. This is not making the big point that overrides all other considerations, namely that Solti's is much the superior performance as well. This is not even mentioned that the almost ancient Kubelik recording of this work, also from the DGG stable, doesn't sound anywhere near as bad.
Thus enjoyment, at least for my money, is not on the bill of fare with this recording. Best sample yourself, extensively, before you make your decision. I for one regret having taken the plunge without sampling or attending to a trustworthy review!
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