ESSENTIAL RECORDINGS
GUSTAV MAHLER - SYMPHONY NO. 8


GUSTAV MAHLER - SYMPHONY NO. 8 - KENT NAGANO (Conductor) - RUNDFUNKCHOR BERLIN - DEUTSCHES SYMPHONIE-ORCHESTER BERLIN - 794881990924 - Harmonia Mundi 501858/59

Mahler's 8th symphony is an amazing work on an epic and gargantuan scale. It is the only symphony where Mahler casts his gaze upwards. It truly reveals his skill and mastery of form, structure, counterpoint, and the use and control of massive forces. It must really be a nightmare to perform and to record, not only because of the large number of singers and musicians it requires to put together, but also because of the efforts required to put across, in the recording studio, the overwhelming feelings of sublime joy and bliss within the music.

It always amazes me how simple notes of music on a piece of paper, when organized by a master, can deliver such an emotional punch. Kent Nagano is well aware of this, and with precise pacing and a solid grip on everything within the score, delivers such a punch. The impact of the music is matched by the sonic impact of a demonstration class recording. Best Mahler 8th to come along in a long time.

Jean-Yves Duperron