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Thread: Mahler Symphony 8

  1. #46
    Senior Member SixFootScowl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CnC Bartok View Post
    Reminds me of the old joke:

    When I first met my wife, she was well over 6ft tall, and wearing a green soccer shirt and huge gloves. I knew straight away she was a keeper....


    Never mind!
    I don't get it. Is this something one has to be culturally literate to understand? I am not culturally literate, having not watched television since 1989.
    "Life is too short to spend it wandering in the barren Sahara of musical trash."
    --Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff

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    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mollie John View Post
    Attachment 125869
    This composition requires one's full attention and commitment and thus must be listened to because of a considered choice rather than because one is listening to the complete cycle and it's the next in line following the 7th...
    That's exactly what I did last week. Frankly it didn't leave as much of a (new) impression on me as I'd hoped, but I do reckon the recording may have been in part to blame. It was the Haitink/RCO, and from what everyone tells me, Haitink didn't think much of the symphony at the time. Still going to keep it around and revisit in the future.

    I got my hands on the Wit/Warsaw National Philharmonic/Naxos. I've heard bits here and there but not the whole thing yet. I have a feeling this may be the one for me...

  3. #48
    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fritz Kobus View Post
    I don't get it. Is this something one has to be culturally literate to understand? I am not culturally literate, having not watched television since 1989.
    I don't know if you're into soccer much but "keeper" is the soccer position we would refer to in America as "goalie". Probably ruined the joke now, but there you go.

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  5. #49
    Senior Member CnC Bartok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flamencosketches View Post
    I don't know if you're into soccer much but "keeper" is the soccer position we would refer to in America as "goalie". Probably ruined the joke now, but there you go.
    Thank you for both explaining, and ruining in one fell swoop!

    Fritz, being culturally illiterate as far as Association Football is concerned is not the worst gap in knowledge or appreciation a human being can possess......
    Last edited by CnC Bartok; Oct-28-2019 at 00:08.

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  7. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by CnC Bartok View Post
    Four performances do it for me in different ways:

    Solti (predictable, eh?)
    Sinopoli
    Gielen (his older recording on Sony)
    Tennstedt

    I do need to say this is my least favourite Mahler symphony, but I don't think I;'ll be the only one like that.
    It's my least favourite too.

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  9. #51
    Senior Member Kiki's Avatar
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    Coming back from a long period of Mahler burn-out, I re-started with Donald Runnicles, deliberately staying away from the usual suspects, and (perhaps surprisingly) I quite enjoyed it in fact! Haven't done any comparison yet (in fact I seldom do that), maybe it shows that the Eighth does strike a chord with me regardless of the performance, although it is far from being a favourite of mine.

    Sir Donald rules! (I know, I know, he's not been knighted...)

    But it also illustrates that problem with recordings of the Eighth in which, a huge force sounds amazing but often also sounds murky and congestive on records, while a small force like the one used by Tennstedt in his studio recording makes good sense for listening at home, but I can't help feeling that something is missing.


  10. #52
    Senior Member CnC Bartok's Avatar
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    It's the only Mahler symphony I have seen live more than once, at a Prom in the late '80s conducted by Lorin Maazel, and in St.Vitus cathedral in Prague, conducted by Pavel Kuhn, probably about 1994? The latter was a great event for me, for the setting, the acoustic, which made for a great atmosphere, and the weather outside! Hearing Mahler 8 in a roaring thunderstorm was somehow very very appropriate!

    Listening on a CD ain't quite the same......

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  12. #53
    Senior Member SixFootScowl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CnC Bartok View Post
    It's the only Mahler symphony I have seen live more than once, at a Prom in the late '80s conducted by Lorin Maazel, and in St.Vitus cathedral in Prague, conducted by Pavel Kuhn, probably about 1994? The latter was a great event for me, for the setting, the acoustic, which made for a great atmosphere, and the weather outside! Hearing Mahler 8 in a roaring thunderstorm was somehow very very appropriate!

    Listening on a CD ain't quite the same......
    Choral parts can get garbled and noisy on CD whereas a good concert hall (Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor MI USA, for example) will convey them with intricate clarity.
    "Life is too short to spend it wandering in the barren Sahara of musical trash."
    --Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff

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  14. #54
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    I don't think any sound recording technology thus far developed can adequately reproduce a live Mahler 8...the sheer amount of sound, the spatial distribution of forces, the effect of massed forces of vocal and instrumental is overwhelming.
    Berlioz Requiem is another, tho not quite the same scale.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CnC Bartok View Post
    It's the only Mahler symphony I have seen live more than once
    It's certainly the only one I've seen twice within a few months. Firstly with Maazel and the Philharmonia at the Royal Festival Hall in October 2011, and then in April 2012 with Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra at the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff. Both were memorable performances, with the Maazel especially so as one of the double-bass players fainted and fell off her chair, with the instrument and chair clattering loudly to the floor.

    Amazingly, this incident coincided with a break in the music (just before the tenor solo "Blicket auf" near the end), with Maazel and the soloist (Stefan Vinke) unflappably continuing the music after the bassist had been safely escorted from the stage. Luckily, I've heard she was fine afterwards.

    Signum recorded this concert as part of their complete Maazel/Philharmonia Mahler cycle and, as the incident happened at such an "opportune" moment, I haven't noticed a trace of the commotion - not even an echo - on the final recording.

  17. #56
    Senior Member CnC Bartok's Avatar
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    Bumping this thread for dizwell! Enjoy!

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    This symphony is a good example of why bigger doesn’t always mean better. However, I still think that it is a fantastic piece of music, just maybe Mahler’s weakest.

  20. #58
    Senior Member Marc's Avatar
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    Somehow I think that the first part is one of Mahler's strongest movements, composition-wise. But I don't know anything about composing, lol, so who am I to say?

    The opening Adagio and the Chor & Echo of the 2nd part is truly wonderful, too, but after that, the musical story becomes too loose and widespread for me, albeit with some wonderful episodes now and then.

    It's my least favourite Mahler, which is mostly caused by the fact that for me it never has been a piece that can be listened to on whatever time/day/moment. Of course, Mahler does have his loud (to very loud) moments in every symphony, but to me the 8th is just too much.

    I do appreciate the recordings of Kubelik (DG), Ozawa (Philips/Universal), Nagano (Harmonia Mundi), Chailly (Decca) and Shaw (Telarc), despite the sometimes bad pronouncation of the language in the latter. But I won't blame them. My pronouncation of the English language is rather desperate, too. As anyone who reads this, can confirm.
    Last edited by Marc; Apr-01-2020 at 06:39.

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    Senior Member Avey's Avatar
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    When you need joy, when you need sadness, when you need feeling and life and Reason - go here.

    Mahler could only top this sort of creation with the Ninth. When I hear "least favorite", I really do hear "least heard". The Eighth is so incredibly powerful on a whole - like, what? This is your "least" favored of his works?

    CHECK YOURSELF.

    IMHO

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  23. #60
    Senior Member Avey's Avatar
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    Also, go Tennstedt - live or recorded. Go Solti. Bernstein always clutch.

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