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  • Mahler: Symphony No. 8 / Popp · Auger · Minton · Harper · Kollo · Shirley-Quirk · Talvela · Chicago SO · Solti
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Mahler: Symphony No. 8 / Popp · Auger · Minton · Harper · Kollo · Shirley-Quirk · Talvela · Chicago SO · Solti


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Editorial Reviews

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Solti was an eminent Mahlerian, reveling in the dramatic sweep and power of the scores but also surprisingly sympathetic to their many delicate, sparely scored passages. The gigantic Eighth Symphony is perhaps Solti's finest Mahler recording. The opening outburst, "Veni, creator spiritus," is shattering in its impact, and the next 80 minutes are an emotionally wrenching trek across Mahler's vast musical landscape. Most conductors do well simply to hold together this gargantuan, often ungainly combination of symphony, oratorio, and sceneryless opera (Part II is a setting from Goethe's Faust). But Solti's conducting makes it work by maintaining tension throughout. He gets superb orchestral playing from the Chicago Symphony and inspires a great Viennese chorus and the best team of vocal soloists to record this work. Add outstanding engineering that, nearly three decades later, still yields demonstration-quality sound, and you get the best stereo Mahler Eighth in the catalog. --Dan Davis

1. Symphony No.8 In E Flat Major 'Symphony Of A Thousand': Part I. Veni, creator spiritus
2. Symphony No.8 In E Flat Major 'Symphony Of A Thousand': Part I. Imple superna gratia
3. Symphony No.8 In E Flat Major 'Symphony Of A Thousand': Part I. Infirma nostri corporis
4. Symphony No.8 In E Flat Major 'Symphony Of A Thousand': Part I. Accende lumen sensibus
5. Symphony No.8 In E Flat Major 'Symphony Of A Thousand': Part I. Veni, creator spiritus
6. Symphony No.8 In E Flat Major 'Symphony Of A Thousand': Part I. Gloria Patri Domino
7. Symphony No.8 In E Flat Major 'Symphony Of A Thousand': Part II. Poco Adagio - Waldung, sie schwankt heran
8. Symphony No.8 In E Flat Major 'Symphony Of A Thousand': Part II. Ewiger Wonnebrand
9. Symphony No.8 In E Flat Major 'Symphony Of A Thousand': Part II. Wie Felsenabgrund mir zu Fussen
10. Symphony No.8 In E Flat Major 'Symphony Of A Thousand': Part II. Gerettet ist das edle Glied
11. Symphony No.8 In E Flat Major 'Symphony Of A Thousand': Part II. Uns bleibt ein Erdenrest - Hier ist die Aussicht frei
12. Symphony No.8 In E Flat Major 'Symphony Of A Thousand': Part II. Hochste Herrscherin der Welt - Dir, der Unberuhrbaren
13. Symphony No.8 In E Flat Major 'Symphony Of A Thousand': Part II. Bei der Liebe, die den Fussen
14. Symphony No.8 In E Flat Major 'Symphony Of A Thousand': Part II. Neige, neige, du Ohnegleiche
15. Symphony No.8 In E Flat Major 'Symphony Of A Thousand': Part II. Blicket auf zum Retterblick
16. Symphony No.8 In E Flat Major 'Symphony Of A Thousand': Part II. Alles Vergangliche

Product Details

  • Performer: Arleen Auger, Singverein Chorus, Vienna Boys Choir, Vienna State Opera Chorus
  • Orchestra: Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Sir Georg Solti
  • Composer: Gustav Mahler
  • Audio CD (August 10, 1999)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B00000JXZ8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,515 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Georg Solti, 21 October 1912 – 5 September 1997) was a Hungarian-British orchestral and operatic conductor. He was a major classical recording artist, holding the record for having received the most Grammy Awards, having personally won 31 as a conductor, including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.[2] In addition to his recordings he is ... Read more in Amazon's Sir Georg Solti Store

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Customer Reviews

I will listen to it again and again.
Bob Zeidler
Tennstedt's EMI recording comes very close, but I think Solti's conducting really guides us through Mahler's complex, integrated, dramatic music.
R. Nadel
If one is looking for a great modern recording of Mahler's 8th Symphony, then Solti's electrifying account has to be it.
John Kwok

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Bob Zeidler on April 30, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I remember well this recording from my LP days. Regrettably, in my conversion over time from LPs to CDs, this somehow got lost in the shuffle. Truly dumb! But Decca has saved the day with a totally fresh remastering on a single CD, and at a bargain price to boot!

I find myself both agreeing and disagreeing with some of the previous reviewers (but, in the main, agreeing). Over the years, I've owned, listened to, and eventually discarded, several versions (Abravanel, Kubelik, Mitropolous, Scherchen come quickly to mind) and have put the two Bernstein recordings in storage for at least a while pending some time to rethink those performances through. The only other one remaining active in my collection is the Shaw, about which I make some brief comparisons to Sir Georg's along the way.

I think that, in my time, only Bernstein and Solti really got it all together in this monster piece. To a true Mahlerite (as opposed to someone who simply gets off on the wall of sound and the "occasion" nature of the work), this may be the most difficult of all Mahler symphonies to pull off with the right conviction, because it is equal parts cerebral and visceral. And it can fail in a major way if any one of the required elements (soloists, choruses, orchestra, dynamics, pacing, coherence and "the catching of the long arc" that is essential in the second part) is lacking.

In the cold, hard light of day, Solti is the winner. He is the disciplinarian that Bernstein is not, with an absolutely hair-trigger performance from the orchestra, and he is afforded better sound than either Bernstein recording. The presence of Kollo, Shirley-Quirk and Talvela guarantee a performance for the ages. Solti gauges the dynamics in the second section absolutely perfectly.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By R. Lane on April 24, 2004
Format: Audio CD
It is almost inconeivable that one could possibly experience the Mahler 8th symphony in the confines of your home. As the title suggests, the forces required to pull it off are more massive than ever assembled before, or since.
And Decca pulled out all of the stops in putting together what can only be described as one of the most stunning achievements in the history of recorded music.
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, with an out-of-this-world horn section so aptly appropriate for the work, were moved to Vienna to join forces with three outstanding choirs (the Vienna State Opera Chorus, the Vienna Singverein, and the Vienna Boys Choir) in a recording venue far better suited to the massive forces than would have been available in Chicago (the Vienna Sofienaal) and where there was a far better organ to capture the opening with all of its magnificence. On top of that, all 8 soloists are top notch.
I won't repeat what so many others have said about the sound. It qualifies as a miracle in my opinion.
Experiencing this in your living room with any satisfaction is miraculous indeed, but then experiencing this so well done in the concert hall would probably be even more miraculous. For those who say you cannot compare the concert experience to the what you get in recordings, the recording playback environment being seen as inferior to the experience in the concert hall, I dare them to try to put together an experience today in a concert that would come anyhwere close to what you get here. And do it on a reasonable budget too!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Brandon H. Borrman on August 19, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Solti has doen a remarkable job on this recording. Already legendary, and often hailed as the single greatest version of No.8, the new transfer only adds to its appeal. There is an electricity here, a feeling that almost leads you to believe this concert was recorded live. Yes, as with all Solti's Mahler, the climaxes are impressive and expansive, but the quieter more intrspective moments are what really shine in this recording. Though No.8 may be a failure as a symphony, it is an amazing piece of music. The recording brings out the awe inspiring orchestral lines and keeps the gigantic choral foces from becoming a muddy mass. The new tranfer keeps the analog warmpth, while cleaning up and sharpening many of the more subtle textures. A trully wonderful achievement, and by far the greatest bargin of the available recordings.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Graser on February 24, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I was looking for a recording of this symphony that would bring out the intensity that Mahler intended. Naturally, if you're looking for intensity, you look to Solti. From the first bar you can tell that you will be a part of something special and unprecedented. Never has there been such a gathering of top vocalists and instrumentalists. With names like Popp, Talvela, the Vienna boy's choir, the Chicago Symphony and one of the greatest conductors in the history of music at the helm, you can't go wrong by this recording. The soloists are absolutely magnificent, if I had one gripe it would be that they don't quite blend as well as on Horenstein's version however this is a very minor criticism and will certainly not detract from your appreciation of the recording. The ending is probably the most incredible moment in classical music history as the brass and concert organ roar out huge towering chords . To quote Mahler, "Try to imagine the entire universe beginning to ring and resound." Absolutely beautiful, brilliant performances by all groups and soloists. This is definitely a must own for any Mahler listener.
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