Yes, the remastering is an improvement
B. Guerrero | 12/30/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Unless you want your Mahler 8th on a single disc, this may now be the best overall recommendation of any. I like the Gary Bertini/Cologne Radio S.O. M8 best of all, but you can only get it in the box set of his whole cycle. The Naxos one might be slightly better conducted (Antoni Wit), but the soloists are clearly better on the Tennstedt. The inclusion of Tennstedt's surprisingly lively account of the Mahler 4th symphony makes this an attractive bargain. Lucia Popp isn't ideal for the Wunderhorn song that caps the 4th, but she's better than many . . . ummmmm, no, better than most, really. And as with the "GROC" remastering of Simon Rattle's famous "Resurrection" recording (second symphony), the sound is truly improved on both symphonies here. I also find this middle 80's studio recording preferable to Tennstedt's 1991 remake of the 8th that just got issued on DVD. That one is simply waaaaay too slow in numerous spots. This one is highly recommended for anybody who's new to either work, or is an admirer of Tennstedt's conducting in general."
music prof | massachusetts | 07/07/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This Mahler 4th was on the car radio this morning, so it was an unexpected pleasure. I found it so delightful that I had a "car moment"--I sat w/ the a/c running for about 20" so I could hear whose version it was. I use this symphony in my teaching frequently, so I am quite familiar with it, and I must say, I heard orchestral details that I had never really heard before, in such a context as Tennstedt created. On the other hand, I also did not hear other details that I feel are equally important and that did not directly conflict w/ what Tennstedt was doing at that moment.
But what was simply stunning to my ears was Lucia Popp's rendition of the last movement Wunderhorn song. I thought that at moments it--her voice--was not properly mixed (too soft), but overall I can't recall anyone's doing it better since Heather Harper back in the '60's. Her expressiveness is remarkably vivid and comprehending, but beyond that, in a way I've not heard before, she managed to portray the "himmlische" quality of Mahler's setting in a manner I found to approach a quality of "new."
I have not heard the version of the 8th on this set and cannot comment, but to me, the set is worth buying for the sensitivity and expressiveness and sheer overall beauty of the performance of the 4th."