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Discussion: Mahler: Symphony No. 8 - Gergiev

Posts: 21
Page: 1 2 3 next

Post by Peter January 21, 2009 (1 of 21)
This recording derives from concerts in St. Paul's Cathedral, not the Barbican, which I heard broadcast last year.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/3556149/London-Symphony-Orchestra-going-for-the-big-finish-with-Mahlers-gigantic-Eighth.html

Other reviews will be on The Times and Guardian websites. The sound via the BBC on the radio was fine; I've listened to music in St. Paul's itself and have experienced its curious acoustic.

Post by stardreamer January 21, 2009 (2 of 21)
I hope it will at least sound good on disc (as apparently it was not that good for the people attending the event). Recordings made in churches or cathedrals can sometimes sound so dreadful. Oh well, at least, we may have a chance to avoid the excessively dry sound of the Barbican recordings.

Post by mahlerei January 21, 2009 (3 of 21)
A strange choice of venue, I thought. Some years ago I was in St Paul's to hear Inbal conducting the 'Resurrection' and was appalled at the results. That echo plays havoc with big Romantic scores like this.

Post by rosenkavalier817 April 26, 2009 (4 of 21)
mahlerei said:

A strange choice of venue, I thought. Some years ago I was in St Paul's to hear Inbal conducting the 'Resurrection' and was appalled at the results. That echo plays havoc with big Romantic scores like this.

The clarity achieved on this recording really is remarkable. Really, the main artifact on this recording from St. Paul's is the ~10 second reverb at the end of each half. Easily the most satisfying Gergiev/Mahler for me thusfar.

Post by Cherubino April 26, 2009 (5 of 21)
rosenkavalier817 said:

The clarity achieved on this recording really is remarkable. Really, the main artifact on this recording from St. Paul's is the ~10 second reverb at the end of each half. Easily the most satisfying Gergiev/Mahler for me thusfar.

On May 15th I'll be attending a performance of the Mahler 8th at Carnegie Hall by the Staatskapelle Berlin, conducted by Pierre Boulez. It will be interesting to compare the sound of that live performance with available SACDs, and both the sound and the performance with the Boulez DG compact disc, (RBCD only - a real missed opportunity by Universal) with the same orchestra, and also Michelle DeYoung, mez. singing the part of Mulier Samaritana, who is particulary fine on that recording; one of many recent purchases I made at Border's for half price (about $8 USD). For anyone with access to a Border's, they're aggressively moving their music inventory, with everything that's been on the shelf for over a year selling at 50% off. "Gather ye rosebuds while ye may".

Post by Kal Rubinson April 26, 2009 (6 of 21)
rosenkavalier817 said:

The clarity achieved on this recording really is remarkable. Really, the main artifact on this recording from St. Paul's is the ~10 second reverb at the end of each half. Easily the most satisfying Gergiev/Mahler for me thusfar.

First, although you may only be consciously aware of the reverb's decay at the end of each half, it is a constant sub-text throughout the performance. I find it a bit much.

Second, I agree that this is the best of his Mahler series but I don't regard that as a major accomplishment.

Kal

Post by Fugue April 26, 2009 (7 of 21)
How are his tempos? I thought the 6th and 7th were too fast. He's normally one of my favorite conductors, but maybe Mahler just isn't his thing!

Post by hiredfox April 27, 2009 (8 of 21)
Gramophone have just reviewed it and are very cool about Gergiev's interpretation and quite scathing about the venue and the resulting sound

Post by pgmdir April 28, 2009 (9 of 21)
I have this on order from Crochet--- My expectations are low, based on comments in this thread, but I've found much to enjoy in his 2,6, and especially 7, it seemed to be worth a gamble at the price.

8 is the only one Sinopoli did well. I did not find the Nagano very involving especially at HM's gawdawful price. Gielen and Boulez are laid-back and interesting. I'm looking forward to Gergiev---even if it turns out to be a bit "liquid"

Post by mahlerei April 29, 2009 (10 of 21)
Kal is absolutely right, the St Paul's acoustic is an unwelcome guest throughout this recording. I'm still puzzled as to why they decided to play and record it there, but in any event the performance itself is terribly one-dimensional. This is a problem I have found with Gergiev's Mahler in general, he never digs very deep into the music and it all sounds so perfunctory.

For a uniquely exciting Mahler 8 may I recommend Jascha Horenstein's live account on BBC Legends? It was recorded in 1958 and has the usual lapses one finds in a live performance but as a whole it burns with real conviction. One of my desert island discs.

Zinman's Mahler 8 will be on SACD soon. An interesting line-up of soloists, too.

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