Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

Keyword Search
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews

See latest reviews of other albums...

Joe Banno
The Classical Review, June 2012

MAHLER, G.: Symphony No. 8 (Chailly) (NTSC) ACC-20222
MAHLER, G.: Symphony No. 2, "Resurrection" (Chailly) (NTSC) ACC-20238

Riccardo Chailly, in his live performances and his stunningly engineered, recorded cycle of the Mahler symphonies…has most often seemed what might be called an engaged objectivist: musical architecture and internal clarity have always seemed of paramount importance to this conductor, but he also knows how to tap these scores for their vivid color as well as for their sizeable dramatic impact.

A new pair of Accentus Music DVDs…gives us a taste of Chailly’s recent thinking on this composer, preserving performances of Symphonies Nos. 2 (Resurrection) and 8 (Symphony of a Thousand) with the Gewandhaus Orchester Leipzig from the International Mahler Festival Leipzig…

Some aspects of these readings reinforce what might be expected from Chailly’s Mahler. The textures have a transparency, and the shaping of phrases a structural logic that’s familiar from past performances.

But, in another way, these DVDs are something of a revelation. I can’t remember other Chailly Mahler that’s felt quite as emotionally involved as what is heard here. Granted, watching this conductor at work…leaves the viewer in no doubt about the level of fervent commitment on which he’s operating…The musicians, too, dig into both scores with a febrile, physical attack on phrases; clearly, no one is treating these concerts as business-as-usual, weekly-subscription fare.

Yet it’s the music-making itself, quite apart from the visual stimulus the cameras provide, that shows Chailly…to be a more warmly communicative, more viscerally responsive Mahler conductor. Much of the time, his rubato is subtle and organic.

There’s affectionate sculpting and a decided elasticity in the phrasing, and the programmatic material the orchestra has during the latter movements of the Resurrection…certainly generates a great deal of atmosphere in Chailly’s hands.

The orchestra (featuring some notably thrilling brass playing) and the chorus are on top form, and the soloists are a generally strong lot—with special pleasure given by Georg Zeppenfeld’s dark, elegant bass in the Eighth, and Christiane Oelze’s lyrical but full-toned soprano in the Second. The sound engineering is wonderfully wide-ranging, clear and rich, and the visual component is cleanly rendered… © 2012 The Classical Review Read complete review

David Gutman
Gramophone, January 2012

MAHLER, G.: Symphony No. 2, “Resurrection” (Chailly) (NTSC) ACC-20238
MAHLER, G.: Symphony No. 8 (Chailly) (NTSC) ACC-20222

The present DVDs preserve the opening and closing nights of the Leipzig’s high-powered, multi-orchestra International Mahler Festival held last May. …the clarity, range and depth of sound, allied to the exceptional quality of the singing and playing, are certain to impress.

Interpretatively speaking, Chailly’s Resurrection is unashamedly mainstream, more straightforward than Bernstein’s, sunnier and more muscular than Abbado’s, with forthright contributions from harp and percussion. …the excellent Sarah Connolly provides a lovely, intimate reading of the ‘Urlicht’ and there is no lack of tension as the epic finale crashes in.

The performance of the Eighth…has real weight and it is fair to say that the sonic impact of the work’s stupefying final pages has never been more faithfully conveyed on disc. The hushed choral singing, with crucial entries always perfectly calibrated, is a marvel in itself…these renditions must go right to the top of the list on technical grounds, irrespective of sound carrier.

Strongly recommended. © 2012 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

David Nice
BBC Music Magazine, December 2011

Chailly makes you realise how orchestral soloists have to sing

Robert Benson, October 2011

MAHLER, G.: Symphony No. 2, ‘Resurrection’ (Chailly) (NTSC) ACC-20238
MAHLER, G.: Symphony No. 8 (Chailly) (NTSC) ACC-20222

…you will not find another recording of Symphony of a Thousand with soloists superior to those heard here. And the performances are outstanding in every way—brilliant orchestral playing under Chailly’s benevolent leadership, and expert choruses. If you love Mahler’s music you must get these videos. Camera work is just about perfect…Audio is excellent, rich and wide in dynamic range, and well-balanced. Don’t miss these! Read complete review

Norman Lebrecht (Slipped Disc)
ArtsJournal, August 2011

MAHLER, G.: Symphony No. 8 (Chailly) (NTSC) ACC-20222
MAHLER, G.: Symphony No. 8 (Chailly) (Blu-ray, Full-HD) ACC-10222

quite the most immaculate performance I have ever experienced

Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group