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

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Andrew Farach-Colton
This version of the Eighth Symphony is one of Sir Georg Solti's greatest triumphs on record. The conductor's high-voltage interpretive style was not always ideally suited to Mahler's music -- for example, both of his recordings of the Ninth Symphony seem curiously fidgety -- but there's no question that this is one of the best recordings ever made of Mahler's mighty Eighth. Solti sculpts this sprawling score into a coherent, dramatic shape. His muscular approach makes the opening hymn "Veni, creator spiritus" Come, Creator Spirit a true shout of joy, and the awesome exultation of the final climax of the Symphony is as overwhelming as it should be. Everything ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Andrew Farach-Colton
This version of the Eighth Symphony is one of Sir Georg Solti's greatest triumphs on record. The conductor's high-voltage interpretive style was not always ideally suited to Mahler's music -- for example, both of his recordings of the Ninth Symphony seem curiously fidgety -- but there's no question that this is one of the best recordings ever made of Mahler's mighty Eighth. Solti sculpts this sprawling score into a coherent, dramatic shape. His muscular approach makes the opening hymn "Veni, creator spiritus" Come, Creator Spirit a true shout of joy, and the awesome exultation of the final climax of the Symphony is as overwhelming as it should be. Everything here works to express Mahler's spiritual vision. The mysterious opening of the second section based on the final scene of Part 2 of Goethe's "Faust" is dark, profound, and full of longing. The playing of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is extraordinary, and the singing is also consistently superb -- from Heather Harper's ethereal soprano to Martti Talvela's deep bass. Since its first release on LP in 1971, audiophiles have treasured this recording for its sonic potency -- it still has tremendous impact. The original was so good that this new remastering doesn't really have much to improve on, but the recording now fits on one disc, making it a genuine bargain.
All Music Guide - Blair Sanderson
Aside from his sensational Wagner "Ring" cycle, if one recording in Georg Solti's catalog bears repeated reissues, it must be his truly legendary rendition of Gustav Mahler's "Symphony No. 8 in E flat major, Symphony of a Thousand," a captivating performance that was unmatched in its day and one that still holds its own against later releases. No fewer than three CDs of this 1971 performance have appeared, the 1990 double-disc, the 1999 Decca Legends, and the 2006 The Originals package, the last two as single discs. Having the whole work on one disc is a real benefit, not merely for convenience, but also because it prevents a break in the symphony's trajectory, an important consideration in this sprawling work. In terms of the performance, this recording is especially worth considering because of its unequaled octet of singers -- sopranos Heather Harper, Lucia Popp, and Arleen Augér, contraltos Yvonne Minton and Helen Watts, tenor René Kollo, baritone John Shirley-Quirk, and bass Martti Talvela -- whose ecstatic voices are set against three great Viennese choirs and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra playing its absolute best. Such a confluence of talent under Solti's baton certainly makes this version desirable, but what makes it fascinating to hear is the stunning remastering, which brings out all of this magnificent recording's refined details, spatial depth, and dynamic power, making it an even more compelling listening experience than it was on vinyl. Digital transfers of analog recordings are not always trustworthy, but this is as good as it gets; collectors who might be skeptical should compare the sound with any all-digital version -- in a blindfold test, they are virtually impossible to tell apart qualitatively. This extraordinary recording is not only highly recommended, it is mandatory for all serious Mahlerians.
Gramophone
Solti's celebrated recording threatens to sweep the board. Its strengths are well known. Twenty five years have seen many improvements in audio technology, but few recordings so successfully capture the impression of a 'Symphony of a Thousand'.

Solti's celebrated recording threatens to sweep the board. Its strengths are well known. Twenty five years have seen many improvements in audio technology, but few recordings so successfully capture the impression of a 'Symphony of a Thousand'.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/13/2006
  • Label: Decca
  • UPC: 028947575214
  • Catalog Number: 000691902
  • Sales rank: 16,105

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–16 Symphony No. 8 in E flat major ("Symphony of a Thousand") - René Kollo & Gustav Mahler (79:40)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Georg Solti Primary Artist
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