Mahler 8th Symphony

Who conducts your favorite performance of Mahler’s 8th Symphony?
I know it’s hard to get into and over all the counterpoint and screaming in Part I, but
who does that best?   
And how about the divine Part ll?  Who holds it together best?  
Of course SQ plays a big part in Mahler’s symphonies most especially in this one.  
You might want to comment on that as well.

I have an opinion, but I’d like to hear your’s first







  I’m not planning a comparative analysis of the work.  Just informally based on past listening.








Excellent choices above notwithstanding, I recommend the following exceptional performances:

- Horenstein / LSO from 1959

It is an exciting performance, intensive, and keeps you focused throughout. Part 2 begins in a measured manner and builds up dramatically. I also like the tempo in Part 1 - it helps create a continuity throughout the piece. Note the mood created by the childrens’ choir...

Reissued in BBC legends, the sound is OK, I’d call it well above average.

- Mitropoulos / Vienna Philharmonic - Choir, etc / LIVE, Salzburg festival (1960)

Long story short, part II is an emotional powerhouse. Not a reviewer, so I cannot wax lyrical about it; you need to listen to it.

The sound is mediocre -- but, that’s all we have, so we have to live with it.

Reissued on Orfeo



Although I admire many of the above choices, for me the performance that gets to the heart of the symphony is the Solti from 1971, mentioned above.
Part ll is especially moving and holds together magnificently. Some performances tend to wander aimlessly.

I know Solti’s Mahler is looked down upon by some connoisseurs, but he does it for me.