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Mahler;Gustav Sym 8 [Import]

DVD

Price: CDN$ 29.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Format: Classical, NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: German, Latin
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Accentus
  • Release Date: Sept. 27 2011
  • ASIN: B005HK8L1S

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning Mahler 8 Sept. 28 2011
By Charles Eccles - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray
The instant the credits appear on screen it is clear that both sound and picture quality on this blu ray are going to be state of the art. The production team at Accentus {largely responsible for the acclaimed Abbado/Lucerne Mahler cycle) seem to have perfected the art of recording these works. If there are problems, they are likely to arise from your reaction to the symphony itself, and, to some extent, Chailly's interpretation.
The playing of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra is uniformally excellent, and the soloists are all beyond reproach, rarely the case in recordings of this symphony. It seems invidious to single out any of them for special praise but the the two main sopranos, Erika Sunnegardh and Ricarda Merbeth in particular, are stunning. The important tenor part is beautifully sung by Stephen Gould, though in one or two places he has to strain a little to reach the high notes. The choirs too are excellent, producing a veil of sound, audibly {and realistically) placed behind the orchestra.
But here we come to the first problem: Mahler's contrapuntal writing in the first movement is so dense at times that the resulting sound lacks the sharpness we may be accustomed to in other works. Having listened to other recordings and in concert, I have however had to conclude that this is actually what it does sound like. I do not think even the Accentus sound engineers could make these passages sound clearer. Overall, however, the orchestral and choral sounds are clearly and crisply caught, with indivdual thematic threads coming over with remarkable clarity. The climactic finale of the first movement is thrillingly caught as is the finale of the symphony. I have never "felt" the percussion cut through the orchestral texture so clearly before.
Ricardo Chailly plays the work pretty much "as written", and might appear slightly cool to some listeners compared to,say, Tilson Thomas. I would have liked a little bit more "schmaltz" at times, particularly in the "Dir, der Unberuhrbaren" section (20), where I would have preferred a bit more luscious sliding on the strings and heart-stopping "holding back" within phrases. But this is a matter of taste - it is beautifully played.
To sum up, this is probably the best Mahler 8 currently available and, as it seems unlikely that Abbado will record it with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, is likely to remain so for some time. Very highly recommended.
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing picture and sound Oct. 8 2011
By Clive S. Goodwin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
This is an instance where the technology has only just caught up with the music. Despite the valiant attempts by both Bernstein and Tennstedt in their respective periods to capture this work, the new Chailly version makes it clear what a long way there was to go.

Make no mistake - this is so phenomenally good in every respect that you will wonder how it could ever be bettered. After waiting for Abbado to complete his Mahler series, to no avail, here comes Chailly with the definitive 8th. Incidentally, the same forces have put out a Mahler 2 with the same wonderful results(my review to come).

I have never felt such a visceral impact from the crescendos and climaxes as in this recording.The percussion here is forcefully captured, cutting through the considerable orchestral heft like nothing before.The huge orchestra is outstanding in every respect, as is Chailly's conducting (facial tics notwithstanding).

The singers and choirs are uniformly excellent - I could find no fault.

This is a difficult piece to sit through in one sitting. Part one has its own momentum, and is more cohesive than the episodic Part two, so I had become used to listening spellbound through the first movement, and being guilty of having my mind wander in the second part until the last ten glorious minutes. Not so here. I was riveted from start to finish. If you are not moved to your core by the finale in this recording, you have no soul!

About the recording - you really owe it to yourself to listen to this on a good surround sound system. The DTS MASTER sound misses nothing. If you are a bit shy in this area, upgrade your system!

The picture quality is also impeccable in 1080p. This is where Bluray really shines - you can see every face in the huge choir clearly. The video editing is among the best I've ever seen.

Some Mahlerians are luke-warm on this piece. If so, give it another try with this disc. You will be moved and amazed!
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars as if you're stepping into heaven Oct. 1 2011
By Mr John Haueisen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
In the first Amazon review of this Mahler's Eighth, reviewer Charles Eccles has nailed it.
This is the best-photographed, and best recording of the sound of M8 to date.
The orchestra is sharp and responsive to every request that Riccardo Chailly makes of it. The choirs mirror the orchestra's excellence, and the soloists do their part superbly, as well.

I found baritone Dietrich Henschel particularly good in his "Ewiger Wonnebrand," but I still prefer the DVD versions by Bernstein and Tennstedt, because of what appears a bit more passion put into the performance. What I'm saying is, if you prefer the recording quality of the singing and the view of it, this is close to perfect; if you're looking for "involvement" or passion in the artist, you might prefer to look to Kenneth Riegel in the Bernstein or Tennstedt DVDs. The same holds true for the sopranos and altos here.

Chailly equals Bernstein in emotional involvement and attention to detail--probably in nearly every area except dancing and leaping. No one but Bernstein was such a performer.

I would single out soprano Christiane Oelze for her perfect singing of the Mater Gloriosa's "Lift yourself to Higher Spheres." She was placed high in the hall, in front of the organ--effective, but I wish they could have managed a brief close-up in this all-too-brief, but beautiful role.

So, in summary, when I'm in the mood for a top-notch view and hearing of the brilliant Mahler 8th, I'll watch this one. If I have friends with me who care more for the emotions of the soloists or the conductor, I might prefer Tennstedt or Bernstein. Either way it's win-win, for you can't lose when you're letting Mahler's sublime music in M8 take you to heights that make you feel as if you're stepping into heaven!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable Jan. 13 2013
By CanadaCollector - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
This is one of the finest Mahler performances on any media, caught on the wing by Accentus. That everyone performs so well is more miraculous when it is live. The soloists, orchestra, choirs: one can't single out any when all sing or play their hearts out. Anyone who can sit through Alles Vergangliche without knowing one is in the presence of something very special, both from Mahler and these interpreters, must be a dull soul indeed. Buy this; if you have only room for one music DVD, I would nominate this one.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Go to the concert hall, this DVD is ok but can't reproduce the impact of this work March 11 2012
By David Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This review is for the standard DVD. It is possible that the blu ray version is better but I was not that impressed with this recording. First, I think it virtually impossible to get the dynamic range and spatial characteristics of this huge work onto a recorded disk and this disk was lacking in both dynamic range and spatial sound resolution. My response to hearing this work in a concert hall was much different -- to use the phrase, "I was blown away." Second I was really bothered by the scene choices of the video director. Whomever it was spent much too much time on close ups. The insides of a soloist's mouth when singing full out, or the sweat and plastered hair on the conductor's forehead would not be my first choice of images, yet variations of those seemed to be the re-occuring shots chosen. Also the scenes shown were of very short duration -- often just a few seconds before there was cut to something else -- I found this distracting and disorienting. I may have enjoyed the program more if I had turned the video off but then I would not have been able to read the sub titles.

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