HD-Vinyl 24/96 (Decca) Gustav Mahler – Symphony No. 8 – Solti

Many thanks to our friend Trottar for another gem
Mahler conducting has moved in a different direction from what we hear on this recording of the Seventh under Solti. Comparison with almost any other famous account — from Bernstein, Abbado, Boulez, or Tennstedt — reveals how extroverted and hyper-energized Solti is. The recording has been engineered for maximum detail, almost x-ray like, and any ambiguous or problematic aspects in the score are charged through, with forward momentum prevailing over anything else.

Composer: Gustav Mahler
Orchestra: Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Georg Solti
Vinyl (1972)
Number of Discs: 2
Format: Flac
Label: Decca
DR-Analysis: 14
Size: 1.67 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FileFactory

The most famous recording of the Mahler 8th. That is due to the fact that when it was recorded, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Solti were at the top of the Orchestra ladder. The brass section was considered the best in the symphonic world. And this work has monumental brass parts that require superhuman effort to play. This recording was made in Vienna. There’s an article written that says many members of the Vienna Philharmonic’s brass section were present during the recording and allowed to watch. And after the mighty and heroic conclussion of the work walked out of the recording site mumbling to themselves. The brass playing is that wonderful (I’m a orchestral percussionist by education and performance). The other parts of the orchestra really shine too. The choirs (how can you go wrong with the Vienna Opera Choir?) are exemplary too. And the soloists are at their top form (sadly, many aren’t around anymore).My biggest beef is with Solti’s tempi. I have always felt that he moved at a quicker clip than other conductors. In the first movement, Veni Creator Spiritus, this works well because it is a very dramatic and kinetic movement. However, at the very end, with brass choirs supplementing the orchestra and blazing, his tempo moves just a bit too fast. It’s a small complaint, but Solti is sometimes accused of this. Also, I feel his conducting is sometimes clinical, say the opposite of Bernstein. On occassion, it happens here. I have the LP still and used it to compare to this recording. The brass parts on the LP shine and are played in correct intonation. But the CD has some really weird parts on the brass. There are times that the brass is so in the background that you cannot distinguish it from the winds. Other times, it comes out blazing in an unnatural crescendo relative to the score. I think the engineers who remastered this version had some difficulties. In all fairness though, this piece is very difficult to record simply because there are so many instruments and singers. Things like where to place the brass choir to give the feeling of a Celestial Host, inserting the piano and organ in proper balance to the rest is very difficult for a balance engineer.If performance is your criteria though, you can’t get much better than this. It’s exciting and breathtaking.


Analyzed folder: /96k Mahler – Symphony No. 8 – Solti
DR        Peak        RMS        Filename
DR13        -0.65 dB     -18.62 dB     A  Part I – Hymus, Veni, Creator Spiritus.aif
DR14        -1.06 dB     -19.67 dB     B Part II – Final Scene From Part 2 Of Goethe’s Faust – Waldung, Sie Schwankt Heran.aif
DR16        -0.74 dB     -22.44 dB     C  Part II (Continued) Faust 2 – Uns Bleibt Ein Erdenrest.aif
DR12        -0.58 dB     -18.01 dB     D Part II (Concluded) Faust 2 – Blicket Auf, Alle Reuig Zarten.aif
Number of files:    4
Official DR value:    DR14


  • Baritone Vocals [Pater Ecstaticus] – John Shirley-Quirk
  • Bass Vocals [Pater Profundus] – Martti Talvela
  • Choir – Vienna Boys Choir, Vienna Singverein Chorus, Vienna State Opera Chorus
  • Chorus Master – Helmut Froschauer, Norbert Balatsch
  • Chorus Master [Rehearsal] – Wilhelm Pitz
  • Composed By – Gustav Mahler
  • Concertmaster – Sydney Weiss, Victor Aitay
  • Conductor – Sir Georg Solti
  • Contralto Vocals [Maria Aegyptiaca] – Helen Watts
  • Contralto Vocals [Mulier Samaritana] – Yvonne Minton
  • Engineer [Recording] – Gordon Parry, Kenneth Wilkinson
  • Liner Notes – Geoffrey Crankshaw
  • Liner Notes [Translation] – Friedel Becker, Georges Gourdet, Peggie Cochrane
  • Orchestra – The Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • Photography By – Anthony Altaffer, Hans Wild
  • Producer – David Harvey
  • Producer [Assistant] – James Mallinson
  • Soprano Vocals [Magna Peccatrix] – Heather Harper
  • Soprano Vocals [Mater Gloriosa] – Arleen Auger
  • Soprano Vocals [Una Poenitentium] – Lucia Popp
  • Tenor Vocals [Doctor Marianus] – René Kollo

Ripping Info


  • Software: iZotope RX 4 Advanced, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Super light de-clicking with iZotope, significant clicks manually removing, no de-noising
  • DR-Analisys before converting to Flac
  • Converting Wave -> Flac: Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Artwork: Sony Alpha 350, Epson Perfection V750 Pro, Photoshop CS 5.5

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10 thoughts on “HD-Vinyl 24/96 (Decca) Gustav Mahler – Symphony No. 8 – Solti

  1. Rach, you really turned my head around with this rip. Mahler’s 8th has always been problematic with me–mainly dealing with structure. I couldn’t really get my head around the piece. However, Solti has made a recording for the ages. I now understand the ebb and flow of the symphony. And the soloists are beyond reproach, world class and magnificent. Mahler dedicated this symphony to Alma. I wonder if it made her cry.

  2. Oh, I forgot to commend you on the fantastic sound of this rip. There are details that had passed me by before–the harp being one. I’m sure this surpasses the quality of HD remastering. BRAVO MAESTRO!

  3. Thank you, dear Rach and Trottar.
    This is another masterpiece of Mahler by Solti on Decca.
    I am not much into the music of Mahler, but this one makes me thrill, in terms of composition, performance and sound, as well.

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