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Mahler: Symphony No 8 (2012)

Gustavo Dudamel , Gustavo Dudamel , Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela  |  NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Gustavo Dudamel
  • Directors: Gustavo Dudamel, Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, Los Angeles Philharmonic
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (DTS 5.1), English (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: Latin, German, English, French, Spanish, Cantonese
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Deutsche Grammophon
  • DVD Release Date: September 25, 2012
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008PALH0E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #184,061 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

This could well be the most ambitious recording of any Mahler symphony - ever!

A once-in-a-generation classical event and an unforgettable night for the city of Caracas.

This truly unique account of Mahlers most extraordinary symphony is part of Gustavo Dudamels planned Mahler cycle, this time featuring BOTH orchestras with which he is most closely associated - the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela - as well as immense vocal forces including a massed choir of young Venezuelan voices and a lineup of international soloists.

This stupendous, historic collaboration in Caracas cements the friendship and bond between the LA Philharmonic and the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra, who have both played acclaimed Mahler concerts with Maestro Dudamel in the US and in Venezuela.

The performance was seen in hundreds of theaters in the United States and Canada, as well as those in Brazil, Colombia and Argentina. In Venezuela, it aired on the state television channel, Tves, to mass audiences.

This special DVD and Blu-Ray will be released to coincide with the Opening Concert of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra season in September 2012.

Extra Material: 17 minutes documentary on the DVD and Blu-Ray which gives a unique insight into this world-beating Mahler recording.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Far more than just a Barnum & Bailey act September 29, 2012
In spite of the fact that over a thousand performers are employed here, this is actually a remarkably 'musical' account of Mahler's colossal 8th symphony. The sound quality captured here is equally remarkable for such a challenging, one-off performance. The enlarged choral forces and augmented string section (strings were combined from both orchestras) shift balances away from the brass, woodwinds and vocal soloists, and transfer greater emphasis - logically enough - on to the choral passages. There is, in fact, historical precedence for doing this and I'll elaborate on that point further down.

A previous reviewer suggested that Dudamel should have striven for a more detailed and clearer performance. But we already have two DVD's of Mahler 8 that do just that: Bernstein/V.P.O./DG (combined with an equally fine Mahler 7) and, more sharply focused yet, Chailly/Gewandhaus Orch./Accentus from the 2011 Leipzig Mahlerfest. That's not to mention a whole slough of very fine and very detailed CD recordings of the work. Just going by Deutsche Grammophon alone, the Boulez M8 is exceedingly clear and detailed (as one would expect). So then, if we lose some detail and clarity with the greater numbers, what do we gain in return?

For starters, the children's chorus is much, much stronger than what we usually hear. For example, "Jene Rosen, aus den Haenden" (track 16), as well as "Er uberwaechst uns schon" (track 23) - a passage that is nearly always embarrassingly 'too wimpy' sounding. These two passages are truly improved by the greater numbers. The very start of "Alles vergaengliche" (the final track) is a bit louder than what we're generally used to hearing, but that first entrance is also far better supported from the low voices - baritones and bass/baritones in particular.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A solid joint effort October 29, 2012
While this is not the last word on Mahler 8, it provides some unique thrills. I will gladly exchange the softest pianissimos for the fullness, warmth and richness of the choral sound. Although most of the choristers are young, they achieve a very fine blend. I would cavil, though, at their German pronunciation, which seems mushy and pasted-on (compare the CSO Chorus, prepared for Solti by Margaret Hillis). A counter-example to hand is the solo tenor, who copes as well as anyone with his fiendishly high part, putting the words across with flair and accuracy. The soloists overall are just under the top rank, with the "Gretchen" a standout, her tone silver coated with velvet.

While I am not a member of the Dudamel "cult", I do find that most of his interpretations sound newly-minted. He gets from his conjoined orchestras the same committed and beautiful playing as on his recent "Eroica". Dudamel often captures the true Mahler sound. Part One ends with an enormous rush of elation, and he brings Part Two to a satisfying conclusion. There are places which could have relaxed more, but on the whole the Solti-like fast tempos help hold the work together. Although the organ is barely audible, the sound is otherwise quite good, and the camera work is fine. There is an inoffensive "behind the scenes" documentary included. This DVD should give much pleasure.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Mahler Must November 5, 2012
By Poe
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
You can't get much more exciting than Dudamel, the Bolivars and the L.A. Phil with more than 1000 on the stage!! The backstage interviews and preparation peeks make this a must-have for a Mahler collection. The music is an exceptional undertaking. We won't see another extravaganza like this in our lifetime.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great musical event October 9, 2012
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Gustavo Dudamel's Mahler First on DVD was, as Clive Goodwin points out, quite disappointing: focused on superficial effect rather than substance, especially in comparison with the stunning Dvorak "New World" he recorded with the Radio Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart (Birthday Concert for Pope Benedict XVI). One could then suspect that the young conductor had not quite plumbed the depth and idiom of Mahler's musical language. So it was with slight trepidation when I ordered the disk, but everything fell into place happily when I played it the first time around. If you want to know my own personal ambivalent feelings about the Eighth - Mahler's last, gargantuan and somewhat desperate fling with late Romanticism - do read my reviews of the Bernstein (with the Seventh) and Tennstedt (with the First) readings on DVD, both noble and persuasive performances, though now dated in audio and video. The outstanding recent recording by Chailly and the Gewandhausorchester brought the oratorio-symphony much closer to me: it is wonderfully exuberant, highly disciplined at the same time and always conscious of the various structural layers, the shifts in mood and the balances between human and instrumental voices, not to mention the virtuosity of all involved.

Dudamel has assembled more than 1000 participants: Mahler's dream is finally realized in our time. The rehearsals must have been grueling. As it turns out, the recording of these two orchestras combined into one big happy band, the very fine (perhaps not altogether outstanding) soloists and the army of choristers - no small feat indeed - is surprisingly clear, though certainly not lean. Video is very good.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Praise to Dudamel for rescuing a performance mared by vocally...
If the unfortunate performances of the soloists can be overlooked, which is quite difficult at times, Dudamel's Malher 8 is one of the most moving versions available. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Professor Pnin
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning
.This recording is a masterpiece for the ages. With a Bose sound system the experience is a glorious one.
Published 5 months ago by Dale Helward
2.0 out of 5 stars Flawed product received
This looks wonderful, however I haven't had a chance to hear it... every CD I've bought has been empty, not cut or was packaged empty. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Leslie Terzian Markoff
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't miss this musical acheivement
This is an epic musical experience! The energy, the sound, the interpretation are all top-notch! I wish I had been in the concert hall to hear this. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Jack Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Performance of Mahler's Symphony Of A Thousand
The combined forces of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela and many soloists were directed by Gustavo Dudamel. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Zarathustra
5.0 out of 5 stars Mahler vs Dudamel
Mahler's Symphony Nr. 8 E-Flat Major would have to be the most mammoth undertaking in symphonic history. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Giles Bernard J. Hall
5.0 out of 5 stars The "Spruce Goose" of Symphonies
The Hughes H-4 Hercules was a heavy transport aircraft built by Hughes Aircraft. The aircraft made its first and only flight on November 2, 1947. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Giordano Bruno
5.0 out of 5 stars HUGEly Awesome!!!!
It's gotta be hard to live up to the hype: "Symphony of a Thousand" but this historic recording does, both figuratively, and literally! Read more
Published 17 months ago by Howard Golden Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!
Very nice performance! Set up was impresive. Dudamel does a great work putting together two marvelous orchestras. Read more
Published 18 months ago by S. Wohnsiedler
2.0 out of 5 stars 1000 Squeaky Metal Folding Chairs
I'm sorry, I really wanted to like this disc, but it falls well short of the mark. I'm an audiophile first, a classical music lover second. Read more
Published 18 months ago by LondonLover
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