Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Mahler, Boiko, Martynov|
Profound & Revelatory 8th!!
Scriabinmahler | UK | 01/13/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Part 1 of this performance of 8th is a revelation! Svetlanov's creates amazingly rich textures and colours by balancing the orchestra, vocalists and choirs in equal terms, and also by allowing the lower part of the score pronounced. The music sounds like a completely different work as a result.
Part 2 is paced very slowly, at times too slow and there are a few odd moments, yet again you hear wonderful detail in both orchestral and vocal parts, like you've never heard before. Solo vocalists are superbly expressive. The final apotheosis is stretched rahter too much but overwhelmingly powerful.
If you are used to conventional interpretation, you may not like this, but once you accept Svetlanov's intention, this is well worth listening. Digital recording with wide dynamic range."
Something very special here...
Lawrence Rapchak | Whiting, IN United States | 05/13/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you really appreciate the Mahler 8th Symphony, you should get ahold of this recording while you still can; it is a very special experience. It reminds me a lot of the magnificent Czech performance by Vaclav Neumann (see my review), minus the fact that Neumann tended to "phone in" sections of the work that didn't seem to interest him. The opportunity to hear this great work sung by Slavic artists (as in the Czech performance) is fascinating; there's a fullness, warmth and expressive, almost "sweet" quality to the sound---something utterly unlike the many recent performances by lighter, rather pallid Dutch or British choirs.
Those of us who mainly know Svetlanov from his crash 'n slash performances of the big Russian repertoire will be stunned to learn that---of all the recordings of this work that I have listened to--- this is the most "rarified"; that is, as Part II becomes progressively more ethereal and transparent (as Faust's soul ascends to ever-loftier realms), you actually HEAR it in Svetlanov's delicately balanced, nuanced reading. Totally unexpected!
PART I is quite exceptional throughout, with the lyrical passage following the big central recapitualtion lovingly phrased and beautifully paced.
You will delight in the conductor's take on the chanting Anchorites in the opening of PART II; longer, droning sounds (with massive Russian bassos) sung without vibrato---very cool! But the one flaw in this performance that's hard to understand is the plodding pace of the bright B Major Scherzo of the Angels, in which Mahler continually asks for more speed, lightness and a fleeting quality...but Svetlanov just ignores it all. Still, the passage has great heart and enthusiasm.
AND THEN---- the Doctor Marianus music---which in this performance exudes a special radiance unlike I've ever heard. The tenor is wonderful, and has total command of this difficult music. But once again, it is Svetlanov that postively STUNS the listener (beginning at the E Major "Hochste Herrscherin der Welt!"); the orchestra (violins expecially!) actually plays the delicate, caressing, floating phrases exactly as Mahler marked them. The "Jungfrau, rein im schonsten Sinne"...as the men's chorus gradually enters in hushed, reverent tones in the background... is, as the other reviewer put it, a REVELATION, pure and simple. When the men's chorus begins their berceuse-like "Dir, der Unberuhrbaren"...well, you need to hear it for yourself.
The trio of biblical ladies is handled very nicely, especially considering that the Maria Aegyptiaca is one of those monstrous, wobbly-voiced mezzos---but her artfulness still keeps it within the stylistic ball-park. The very-Russian children's chorus and a bright tempo keep the penitent's music sparkly and engaging, and the penitnent's big solo, despite her less-than-lovely vocal quality, is ecstatically, lovingly rendered.
Then, Marianus returns for "Blicket Auf." I wonder: do others share my opinion of most performances....that it seems that most conductors just want to blow through this section and get to the big ending?? Well, wait till you hear this one! Despite the fact that the strings are bit too distant-sounding, the overall impression is intoxicatingly, achingly beautiful...no other way to describe it.
And yes, the ending is all one could hope for, as expansive and blazingly majestic as it could possibly be played (and conducted).
Consider adding this recording to your Mahler 8th collection."