Hands down best Mahler 8 I've heard
If Mahler's symphonies each embrace a world, then the 8th embraces not only a world, but an entire galaxy, with its rotating planets and stars. I've heard many other Mahler 8s before, and this one is hands-down the best. The hymn (part I) does not drag, nor is it rushed. Instead, it is perfectly balanced, with chorus and soloists singing in a disciplined fashion. Every little bit of this movement is tended to. However, the real star of the show, the part that I didn't like before this version, is the closing scene from Goethe's Faust. Every bit of it sings of a man and his struggle to gain salvation through love. As the movement progresses, every little detail will immerse the listener in the true beauty of Mahler's 8th. My only (small!) complaint is that the organ isn't very powerful during its entrance at the very end of the second part. Those of us who know Goethe's faust know that the organ's part is the part of God, the part that gives the man final salvation, and when the chorus is finally supported by the organ, the king of instruments, the version looses that little piece of meaning. Other ways, this is the best in any other part of the symphony. Inbal's Alles Verlangiche is especially powerful, and I believe that he sees, unlike other conductors *cough* Georg Solti *uncough* that this is Man's last struggle against condemnation, as apposed to Man's triumph. Wonderful, and in every way the best Mahler 8. Plus, it's only 8 bucks for Inbal's Mahler 8. Treat yourself to this feast of triumph and struggle. Enjoy!