Symphony No. 8
Lucerne Festival Orchestra
Ricarda Merbeth, Juliane Banse, Anna Lucia Richter, Sara Mingardo, Mihoko Fujimura, Andreas Schager, Peter Mattei, Samuel Youn
Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Latvian Radio Choir, Orfeón Donostiarra, Tölzer Knabenchor
Gustav Mahler’s 8th Symphony breaks the boundaries of the symphonic form in a world-embracing gesture. Riccardo Chailly is one of the staunchest performers of this work, and therefore it seemed appropriate in many ways that he chose this work for his inaugural concert as Claudio Abbado’s successor and new music director of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra. The artistic statement was combined with a deeply personal conviction: it should be a “tribute to Claudio,” the highly esteemed friend and colleague to whom Chailly, as he emphasizes, owes very much. On 12 August 2016, Claudio Abbado’s unfinished Mahler cycle with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra was completed in a breathtaking performance of the Mahler 8th, simultaneously heralding in a new era in Lucerne.
Riccardo Chailly accentuates the dramatic character of Mahler’s Eight’s Symphony without neglecting the more emotional aspects in the second part. The performance is gripping from the first to the last bar, with choral singing of great fervour and a rich and detailed orchestral sound. Pizzicato
Released on DVD without frills, it is an impressive document. The Guardian