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

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Blair Sanderson
Leopold Stokowski's 1950 recording of Gustav Mahler's "Symphony No. 8, Symphony of a Thousand," has been released in the Archipel Desert Island Collection, though this historic recording is really of limited interest to Mahler specialists and dedicated Stokowski fans and should not be considered an essential pick for general listeners. Not that there's anything to distrust about the interpretation, which for its time was extraordinary, and acceptable by modern standards of Mahler performance. But it's difficult to make out everything that's happening in the fairly compressed mono recording. The vocal soloists, the combined choirs, and the New York Philharmonic perform ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Blair Sanderson
Leopold Stokowski's 1950 recording of Gustav Mahler's "Symphony No. 8, Symphony of a Thousand," has been released in the Archipel Desert Island Collection, though this historic recording is really of limited interest to Mahler specialists and dedicated Stokowski fans and should not be considered an essential pick for general listeners. Not that there's anything to distrust about the interpretation, which for its time was extraordinary, and acceptable by modern standards of Mahler performance. But it's difficult to make out everything that's happening in the fairly compressed mono recording. The vocal soloists, the combined choirs, and the New York Philharmonic perform with assurance and well-rehearsed accuracy. Anyone who knows this symphony well will have no trouble making out the various choral lines and instrumental parts, despite the narrow dynamic range and occasional distortion when the microphone is overloaded. However, first-time listeners may feel disoriented by the dense wall of sound in the "Veni, Creator Spiritus," which gives no clue about the musicians' placement, and muddles the separation of soloists from the choirs. The audio in the second part is less problematic, though the limitations of mid-century recording technology are still quite apparent. Bearing in mind the immense difficulties of mounting a performance of the "Eighth" at any time, this must have been a tremendous undertaking for Stokowski and his musicians, and something of a special occasion for the audience. Yet as rare as performances and recordings of this work were in 1950, excellent stereo and digital versions, as well as frequent renditions in the ensuing decades, have made this recording an artifact for study, rather than a showpiece for esthetic appreciation.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/30/2010
  • Label: Archipel
  • UPC: 675754029159
  • Catalog Number: 508

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–3 Symphony No. 8 in E flat major ("Symphony of a Thousand") - Gustav Mahler & New York Philharmonic (77:50)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
New York Philharmonic Primary Artist
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