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#2752214 07/17/18 06:03 PM
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I've been a fan of this symphony for a long time, but don't know many recordings of it. As of now I have only heard the Solti recording that is on youtube which I like a lot. What are your favorite recordings of this piece? And which recordings should I listen to?

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"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
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In my collection I have Kubelik, Solti, Bernstein, Chailly, Haitink, Neumann, Inbal, Maazel, Tennstedt, Rattle, Abbado. My best recollection is of Nézet-Seguin as it was live, for studio recordings it is hard to choose: orchestral playing, choral singing, soloists, etc.. Some of my critical moments are:' Blicket auf..' Donald Grobe can't be surpassed, the boys chorus in the 1st movements double fugue: Maazel beats them all, the chorus mysticus: Chailly couldn't be better, etc,etc.etc...This is what the french call: embarras de choix, it's hard.


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Sadly, the music critic Tony Duggan has passed on to better things. This was his evaluation of the Mahler 8th recordings available a few years ago.

http://www.musicweb-international.com/Mahler/Mahler8.htm

His summary (my bolding):

Quote
Summing up, in the modern digital recordings I have the highest regard for Claudio Abbado's DG version and this is my best general recommendation taking in the best modern sound, performance and interpretation. A pity about the organ but it's, for me, a small point. I'll always retain a place in my affections for Wyn Morris too. Not to everyone's taste, not ideally recorded or played, but I believe that at enough times his is a version touched with genius. Sir Georg Solti will continue to dominate for those who like their Mahler Eighths more high octane, and Leonard Bernstein for those who like their hearts on the sleeves. However it should be obvious that, for me, Jascha Horenstein's version on BBC Legends is out on its own. If I was faced with the destruction of all the rest leaving only one, this is the one I would be satisfied with.

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SF Symphony won a Grammy for their 2010 recording of Mahler's 8th. Different people have different things that get them into music, and I think in MTT's mind, Mahler is the pinnacle of music. A recording of Mahler's 9th is what attracted him to classical music in the first place, and he thus does good work with Mahler.


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Not the best, but the most important performance for me personally, is the 1992 performance in Dublin in which I took part
https://stillslibrary.rte.ie/indexplus/image/2393/096.html


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I just listened to Abbados DG recording, and for me it's far better than the Solti recording. I feel that Solti sometimes rushes a little bit and is sometimes hard to follow (like the end of the 1st part), but Abbados was so majestic, and it was crystal clear! Definitely going to be hard to beat. I will listen to Chailly later.

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Ages ago I attended a rehearsal of James Levine(?) conducting the Mahler 8th. He told the chorus that when they come in sotto voce and without accompaniment in the second movement, it was one of the greatest moments in classical music.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus

Ages ago I attended a rehearsal of James Levine(?) conducting the Mahler 8th. He told the chorus that when they come in sotto voce and without accompaniment in the second movement, it was one of the greatest moments in classical music.

Do you mean the Chorus Mysticus? If so, then you are right. I can not think of a greater moment in music, except for possibly the ending of the 9th.

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Originally Posted by Vilhelm Moqvist
Originally Posted by pianoloverus

Ages ago I attended a rehearsal of James Levine(?) conducting the Mahler 8th. He told the chorus that when they come in sotto voce and without accompaniment in the second movement, it was one of the greatest moments in classical music.

Do you mean the Chorus Mysticus? If so, then you are right. I can not think of a greater moment in music, except for possibly the ending of the 9th.
I don't know what it's called, but if I remember correctly there's only one place where the entire chorus sings incredibly softly and without orchestral accompaniment.


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