Search from over 250 recordings...

Our collection contains many rare performances, so start your search right away!

Symphony No.8

Mahler 10 February 1948

£7.99 Buy now

Even amid the many treasures of Music Preserved's collection, this is something special.

This is probably the third ever British performance of Mahler's paean (to nature, to God and perhaps even to his own powers of creativity), and conducted by one who is still under-rated, even in his own country. Sir Adrian Boult is known and prized for his many sympathetic and clear-sighted support of English composers; much less so for his work on music from farther afield. And yet the Brahms recordings on EMI, which still stand the test of time, should tell us that he had something also to say in this music, which does not need indulgence of its purpler passages - and Mahler is never purpler than in his setting of the final scene of Goethe's Faust which comprises the second part of the Eighth - but rather an absolutely authoritative marshalling of the vast forces required and a firm shaping of the long lines and detailed but never dense textures. In this, Boult is sovereign.

Something of a health warning needs to be issued: the recorded sound is very far from ideal, and it has taken many hours of painstaking work on disintegrating acetates to arrive at a point where this recording, of unique historical value, can be released. But lovers of Mahler's music will find it not only highly instructive but (hopefully) also an inspiring, passionate and superbly drilled performance of his most ambitious work.