Mahler: Symphony No. 8 Live
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London Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir - Eton College Boys' Choir - London Symphony Chorus - Klaus Tennstedt, direction
It was an inspired a Mahler performance as Tennstedt has ever conducted, with an inevitability, a sense of spiritual grandeur and adventure, that renewed all ones youthful faith in a work which one feared might have lost its power, thrill and surprise for ever. --Daily Telegraph on the recorded live performance of Mahler Symphony No. 8 in 1991.
If there was ever any doubt that Klaus Tennstedt was a conductor for whom the recording studio was rather a confining space,and whose inspirational qualities blossomed in the freedom of the concert hall,this account of Mahler's eighth,one of the three symphonies that Tennstedt conducted at the Royal festival Hall in January 1991,shows him at his finest. ***** --The Guardian,04/03/11
Tennstedt's probing energy and profound wisdom prove a winning combination in this epic trailblazer. **** --Classic fm Magazine,May'11
Twenty years on,this remarkable event continues to resound as one of the most inspirational half-dozen musical experiences of my life. IRR OUTSTANDING --IRR,Apr'11
An overwhelming 'symphony of a Thousand' from a natural Mahlerian. EDITORS CHOICE --Gramophone,June'11
Top Customer Reviews
The Eighth is undoubtedly the highlight of Tennstedt's studio cycle - a worthy Gramophone Award winner, and a favourite of mine for many years - but I think it is surpassed in just about every way by this new live recording. In fact, I would go so far as to say that this is a new benchmark.
Of the eight soloists, only Trudeliese Schmidt and Hans Sotin are carried over from the studio set. Initially I was disappointed to lose Richard Versalle's excellent Doctor Marianus but I have quickly adjusted to Kenneth Riegel's unusual style of attack and gone on to find a great deal to admire in his portrayal. He consistently hits and sustains the top notes, whether at full throttle or using just his head voice. He may not have the most beautiful tone but it's a thrill to hear the role really attacked and sung with gusto and confidence. The other big surprise is Jadwiga Rappe who - together with Schmidt - brings some real character and colour to the alto parts; many of their rivals struggle to make an impact, I always think. However, this solo team really scores with the sopranos.Read more ›
The release of the mighty 8th symphony is another example that confirms Klaus Tennstedt's status as one of the few great Mahler conductors. The LPO label are on to another winner! This live performance given a stunning recording in my view supersedes Tennstedt's excellent studio recording of the 8th on EMI. Inevitably with most live recordings there are occasional duff notes and one or two examples of the soloists being taxed by the demands of the score and, dare I say, the tempo of the conductor, however it is the better for it! Listen to the brass section and the realistic contribtion from the organ(at last!!)The mighty closing pages are genuinely awesome and moving (make sure the neighbours are out).
The Soloists and Choirs are on the whole exemplary. The hero of this recording has to be Klaus Tennstedt, here is a conductor who was passionate and believed in this masterpiece. I urge Mahlerians and lovers of great choral music to hear this, it is one of the great Mahler recordings! Gratitude has to be extended to the LPO label for this jewel of a performance and recording. EMI who originally released this on DVD in the 90's may regret having not released it on CD. EMI should consider re-releasing the live recordings of Mahler's 6th and 7th Symphonies Tennstedt conducted during the early 90's. If I could award this recording 10 stars I would. I feel lucky that not one but two superlative recordings of Mahler's symphonies (2 and 8) have been released to mark Mahler's Centenaries.
Otherwise, the choirs and orchestra are beyond reproach, singing and playing with an abandon incited by Tennstedt who apparently told the boys of the Eton College Choir to bawl like football hooligans - which they must have enjoyed. However, there are several soloists who are most definitely bested by those in other recordings, not least by Hans Sotin's slightly younger and certainly more secure self in his recordings for Tennstedt and Sinopoli; here he sounds embarrassingly hoarse and stretched in "Wie Felsenabgrund". Baritone Eike Wilm Schulte is weak and ordinary, Trudeliese Schmidt again better in the studio recording, alto Jadwiga Rappé tremulous. Worst by far is Kenneth Riegel, by this stage of his career virtually screeching and bereft of what little beauty of tone his harsh tenor ever possessed; Keith Lewis and Richard Versalle are infinitely more impressive.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Mahler's 8th Symphony is one of my favourites and this recording is the best I've found.
Crisp, clear sound and an exceptional interpretation from an exceptional group... Read more
Up until now the George Solti version of Mahler's 8th. Symphony with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra has been my benchmark. No longer. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Doc Culbard
Tennstedt was a great man and a great Mahlerian, and this recording is achieving legendary status. But it is pretty different from most performances, and I would not want this to... Read morePublished on 7 Jun. 2013 by Daddy
I don't think I can in words properly express my liking for this recording. From the initial rough growl of the organ to the last grand notes, this recording is a prime example of... Read morePublished on 29 May 2011 by Andreas