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  Audite -
  Mahler: Symphony No. 8 - Kubelik
  Mahler: Symphony No. 8

Edith Mathis, Martina Arroyo, Erna Spoorenberg (soprano)
Julia Hamari, Norma Procter (alto)
Donald Grobe (tenor)
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone)
Franz Crass (bass)
Eberhard Kraus (organ)
Chor des Norddeutschen Rundfunks
Chor des Westdeutschen Rundfunks
Regensburger Domspatzen
Münchner MotettenChor
Symphonie-Orchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Rafael Kubelik (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Reviews: 3

Review by mwagner1962 August 26, 2005 (8 of 8 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:

First, I will say that I have never heard a recording or performance taken at such a break neck fact, there are places in the first movement where the poor brass cannot keep up. I do not understand what the rush is, unless the engineer told Kubelik to keep it moving. As a veteran of the Telarc Mahler 8 recording with Robert Shaw and Atlanta (I was in one of the choirs from Ohio State), I cannot quite come to grips with the rapid pace. Also, the pace is way faster than my reference Mahler 8 with Solti/Chicago...and everyone always says that Solti took everything at light speed: even Solti at his fastest does not even come this close!!!!

Other than that, the sound is pretty nice overall, with the soloists spread nicely across the soundstage. The boy's choir sounds fine and easy to identify, as opposed to other recordings of the 8th that I have heard. Also, the choirs are well represented, and actually a bit better than the other SACD of Mahler's 8th (listed below).

Brass playing is decent, though not up to what I heard in Atlanta nor on my Solti redbook or the RCA SACD with Colin Davis (RCA 82876 62834-2 also a live recording) which interestingly enough also features the Bayerischen Rundfunk Orchestra!!!!

Despite the brisk tempo, it is certainly an exciting performance!!!

Not the end all SACD of Mahler's 8th, but if you are a fanatical Mahlerite, then this is a good buy and worth checking out!!!!

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Review by Oscar June 9, 2005 (6 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Kubelik is one of the truly great Mahler conductors. He focuses on the more lyric and descriptive aspects of the works, never over-emphasizing the theatrical and dramatic sections. His Audite live recordings, with the Bayerisches Rundfunks Orchester are more succesfull than the DG studio recordings, made roughly at the same time. A case in point is this Mahler 8 Symphony, taped at a live concert, just prior to the DG recording, made with the same soloists.
Given the huge forces involved, the performance is a miracle of perfection, and the only glitch could be the under-the-note attacks of one of the soprano soloists in tha last section of the work.
By contrast, Kubeliks work is much more inmediate and "alive" than on the DG recording, resulting in one of the outstanding M 8 recordings available. THe sound is fine, not overly spacious but with suficient detail.

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Review by jlaurson October 10, 2007 (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
The “garishly divine” Eighth Symphony is the oddest beast of Mahler’s, by far. Not because it is difficult to come to terms with (although it can be that, too – though I think the Third and Seventh, in particular, raise more questions) or difficult to enjoy. In fact, given the right amount of patience necessary for any of his symphonies, the Eighth might be more easily enjoyed than most his other symphonies. Grandeur and bombast and a very different musical language – less dense, not Angst-driven, one might even say: confident and optimistic (for once!) – make for that. It sticks out from the rest like a sour thumb, and card carrying Mahler-fanatics tends to look down a little on this Schmachtfetzen (weepy rag).

Kubelik has a different view of the Eighth than the broad Nagano, Maazel, or Ozawa – less grandiose, a little leaner. His singers are perhaps the best on record and on Audite they are captured at their best. Martina Arroyo, Erna Spoorenberg, Edith Mathis, Julia Hamari, Norma Procter, Donald Grobe, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, and Franz Crass – aided by the Bavarian Radio Symphony Chorus make this disc very desirable for those who make the singing a priority and don’t need to wring every last emotional drop from the score. The only snag with the one-off live performance are a few off notes in the brass and woodwind (fairly noticeable on two occasions) that can, upon repeated listening, make themselves known by being anticipated (which gives wrong notes on recordings such a different nature than in performance).

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Works: 1  

Gustav Mahler - Symphony No. 8 in E flat major "Symphony of a Thousand"