Mahler: Symphony No. 8 "Symphony of a Thousand"

( 2 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Blair Sanderson
Even though Gustav Mahler's vast "Symphony No. 8 in E flat major, Symphony of a Thousand," is the most difficult of his works to mount -- with an expanded orchestra, an organ, eight vocal soloists, boys choir, two large adult choirs, and an off-stage brass ensemble, it outstrips even the massive instrumentation used in the "Symphony No. 2, Resurrection" -- it has become one of the most frequently recorded of the cycle. Indeed, its increased popularity is due in part to the greater availability of recordings of the work. This Naxos recording by Antoni Wit and the Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra, augmented by various singers and choirs, is one in a long list of ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Blair Sanderson
Even though Gustav Mahler's vast "Symphony No. 8 in E flat major, Symphony of a Thousand," is the most difficult of his works to mount -- with an expanded orchestra, an organ, eight vocal soloists, boys choir, two large adult choirs, and an off-stage brass ensemble, it outstrips even the massive instrumentation used in the "Symphony No. 2, Resurrection" -- it has become one of the most frequently recorded of the cycle. Indeed, its increased popularity is due in part to the greater availability of recordings of the work. This Naxos recording by Antoni Wit and the Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra, augmented by various singers and choirs, is one in a long list of perfectly acceptable renditions, though like most, it is not ideal in every respect. Some slight coordination problems between the choirs and the orchestra make the Veni, Creator Spiritus seem a little loose in the tutti passages; and the the vocal solos and ensemble passages are given too much rubato, specifically at "Infirma nostri corporis" and "Da gaudiorum praemia," an effect that breaks the movement's momentum. Part II bears these affecting touches better, since the final scene from "Faust" amounts to a sacred opera in Wit's interpretation, and such flexible pacing is a time-honored post-Romantic mannerism. On the whole, this performance is enthusiastic and polished, and there are no dull stretches or major mistakes to complain about; for a good recording to study the piece, this double-disc will fill the bill nicely, especially at the affordable price. The sound quality is fine throughout, and many of the orchestral niceties missed on other releases come through quite clearly.
Stereophile - Robert Levine
[July 2006 Recording of the Month] In addition to being a bargain and a wonderful performance, this is the most aurally stunning performance of this vast work to appear.... The performance by the Warsaw National Philharmonic is absolutely topnotch.... The soloists are glorious, one and all.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/18/2006
  • Label: Naxos
  • UPC: 730099553322
  • Catalog Number: 8550533
  • Sales rank: 255,145

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–26 Symphony No. 8 in E flat major ("Symphony of a Thousand") - Gustav Mahler & Piotr Nowacki (80:36)
    Composed byGustav Mahler
    Conducted byAntoni Wit
    Performed byPiotr Nowacki, Jadwiga Rappe, Warsaw National Philharmonic Choir, Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Antoni Wit, Henryk Wojnarowski, Timothy Bentch, Wojciech Drabowicz, Izabella Klosinska, Kazimierz Szymonik, Warsaw Boys' Choir, Polish Radio Chorus Cracow, The Choir of Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw, Polish Radio Chorus, Kraców, Wlodzimierz Siedlik, Marta Boberska, Barbara Kubiak, Krzysztof Kusiel-Moroz, Ewa Marciniec
    1. 1Allegro impetuoso: Veni Creator Spiritus
    2. 2A tempo. Etwas (aber unmerklich) gemäßigter; immer sehr fließend: Imple superna gratia
    3. 3Etwas drängend - Noch einmal so langsam. (Nicht schleppend): Infirma nostri corporis
    4. 4Tempo 1 (Allegro, etwas hastig)
    5. 5Sehr fließend - Noch einmal so langsam als vorher. Nicht schleppend: Ingirma nostri corporis
    6. 6Plötzlich sehr breit und leidenschaftlichen Ausdrucks - Mit plötzlichem Aufschwung: Accende lumen s
    7. 7Veni Creator Spiritus
    8. 8Wieder frisch: Gloria sit Patri Domin
    9. 9Poco adagio
    10. 10Piú mosso (Allegro moderato)
    11. 11Wieder langsam. Chor und Echo: Waldung, sie schwankt heran
    12. 12Moderato. Pater ecstaticus: Ewiger Wonnebrand
    13. 13Allegro (Allegro appassionato): Pater profundis: Wie Felsenabgrund mir zu Füßen
    14. 14Allegro deciso (Im Anfang noch nicht eilen). Chor der Engel: Geretet ist das edle Glied der Geister
    15. 15Molto leggiero. Chor der jüngeren Engel: Jene Rosen aus den Händen
    16. 16Schon etwas langsamer und immer noch mäßiger - Wie die gleiche Stelle im I. Teil. Die vollendeteren
    17. 17Im Anfang (die ersten vier Takte) nochetwas gehalten. Die jüngeren Engel: Ich spür' soeben nebeind
    18. 18Sempre l'istesso tempo. Doctor Marianus: Höchste Herrscherin der Welt!
    19. 19Äußerst langsam. Adagissimo: Dir, der Unberührbaren. Chor der Büßerinen und Una poenitentium: Du sc
    20. 20Fließend. Magna Peccatrix: Bei der Liebe, die den Füßen
    21. 21Mulier Samaritana: Bei dem Bronn, zu dem schon weiland
    22. 22Maria Aegyptiaca: Bei dem hochgeweihten Orte
    23. 23Una poenitentium: Neige, neige, du Ohnegleiche
    24. 24Unmerklich frischer werden. Selige Knaben: Er überwächst uns schon. Una poenitentium: Vom edlen Gei
    25. 25Sehr langsam. Mater Gloriosa: Komm! Hebe dich zu höhern Sphären!. Hymnenartig (Ungefahr im selben Z
    26. 26Sehr langsam beginnend. Chorus mysticus: Alles Vergängliche ist nur ein Gleichnis
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Antoni Wit Primary Artist
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Very special piece of music

    There are many recordings of Mahler's "Eight" But if you want to "fly away" with the sounds just listen to this one. The Orchestra playing is very accurate and the choral singing outstanding! The soloists are doing fine job, indeed. Antoni Wit defintely feels Mahler's music and proves he knows how to present it to the musicqal world. And one more thing... play it loud! Ave!

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    An Unexpected Mahler Gem

    This is a real treat for Mahler fans, at a budget price. Not a version I would have considered, the personnel being rather obscure, but for a rave review by Robert Levine in Stereophile magazine. And he wasn't blowing smoke: this is a version that can take its place alongside the best; Solti's 1971 recording with the Chicago and an all-star cast has more power, but Wit and his soloists achieve a remarkable sense of intimacy, almost on the level of a Bach cantata. If you've thought of the 8th as being a bit overblown, as I did for a long time, this version will reveal the human drama of suffering and redemption contained in Goethe's text.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews