Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Mahler, Abravanel, Utah Symphony Orchestra|
The chamber symphony of a thousand
Paul Bubny | Maplewood, NJ United States | 01/17/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Listening to the clear, focused choral singing by the massive forces assembled for this underrated gem, taped as long ago as 1963, you really have to smirk at the claims made for a couple of more recent Mahler Eighths (e.g., Tennstedt's and Sinopoli's)--to wit, that the smallness of their undersized choruses "aids in diction." In fact, having a single choir instead of the double choir that Mahler calls for diminishes the work's overall impact. Not that Abravanel, in what was surely one of the highlights of his long conducting career, is out to steamroll us with enormous choral and orchestral sound. Clarity and naturalness are his watchwords, such that this mammoth symphony here achieves a kind of large-scale intimacy--a chamber symphony for huge forces, an approach that squares well with Mahler's writing style. The soloists are not always top-flight even if they're more than adequate, and early on there's a fleeting distraction as the chorus takes on a flat Midwestern accent for the space of a single line. But anyone who thinks the Eighth is either a colossal bore or simply colossal should hear this."