Mahler: Symphony No. 2 in C minor 'Resurrection'

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Mahler: Symphony No. 2 in C minor 'Resurrection'

Mahler: Symphony No. 2 in C minor 'Resurrection'

Recorded live at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, London on 20 February 1989


Yvonne Kenny (soprano) & Jard Van Nes (mezzo soprano)

London Philharmonic Orchestra & London Philharmonic Choir, Klaus Tennstedt

Although serious illness had forced him to relinquish the Principal Conductorship of the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 1987, Klaus Tennstedt was able to return a number of times in the following years as Conductor Laureate. In February 1989 he conducted two performances of Mahler’s mighty Resurrection Symphony at the Royal Festival Hall in London. The concerts quickly acquired legendary status; those present talked of an incredible interpretation shot through with emotion, conviction, musical depth and tangible atmosphere, captured here in this live recording.

‘Every appearance that Klaus Tennstedt makes with the London Philharmonic is an event nowadays, and his performances of Mahler are understandably treasured. On Saturday he conducted the Resurrection Symphony; the queue for returns was enormous, and the reception rapturous.’ The Financial Times, February 1989

“there are fine things: the focused, weighty playing; the charm of the childlike moments, the mighty storm that blows through the gentle pastures of the second movement, and some suitably hard-hitting judgment day climaxes.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2010 ***

“this is an interpretation of prodigious power and intensity, and vividness of detail. Mahler’s orchestral sound...has never seemed more dazzlingly clear... The LPO, giving everything to their former chief, play like creatures possessed.” Sunday Times, 4th April 2010 ****

Building a Library

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LPO - LPO0044

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Mahler: Symphony No. 2 in C minor 'Resurrection'

Mahler: Symphony No. 2 in C minor 'Resurrection'

Recorded live in Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center on November 20, 21, 22 and 25, 2008


Miah Persson (soprano), Christianne Stotijn (mezzo)

Chicago Symphony Chorus & Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Bernard Haitink

CSO principal conductor Bernard Haitink leads a moving and noble performance of Mahler's immense Second Symphony, continuing his and the orchestra's successful exploration of Mahler's symphonies. The legendary CSO brass are at their finest, with stellar solos and ensemble playing from the woodwinds, strings and percussion.The Chicago Symphony Chorus sounds glorious in Mahler's triumphant finale, singing with sumptuous sound and immaculate diction. A musical force in Chicago and around the world, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is consistently hailed as one of the finest international orchestras.

“This new, white-hot version of the C minor Resurrection, recorded live with the Chicago SO last year, has characteristic nobility, dynamic variety, detail, clarity, lyricism and, in the opening movement, a monumentally slow, shattering climax.” The Observer, 13th December 2009

“Trust Haitink to be masterfully controlled, alert to every dynamic shading or expressive mark.” The Times, 2nd January 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - February 2010

CSO Resound - CSOR901914

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Mahler: Symphony No. 2 in C minor 'Resurrection'

Mahler: Symphony No. 2 in C minor 'Resurrection'

Live 21st August 2003, KKL Luzern


Eteri Gvazava (soprano), Anna Larsson (contralto)

Lucerne Festival Orchestra, Orféon Donosiarra, Claudio Abbado

Claudio Abbado conducting ‘his’ Lucerne Festival Orchestra, an exclusive ensemble of handpicked musical stars, with the bonus of exceptional soloists. The line-up of the band includes such luminaries as Ilya Gringolts and Sabine and Wolfgang Meyer, alongside members of the world's great orchestras. The cello section alone boasts Natalia Gutman, Clemens Hagen and Valentin Erben. Every recording of Abbado is an event and his best-selling recordings with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra have set new standards in the interpretation of Gustav Mahler as we approach the centenaries of his birth and death. His Mahler 3 is a best-seller and this Symphony, No. 2, is his personal favourite. "It's different having best friends together. Everyone is there to enjoy making music, to take pleasure, to play with enthusiasm, with passion. They are prepared to do any crazy thing I ask them for the sake of the music. To fly, to walk through fire." Claudio Abbado

“It's good to have this incandescent performance back. If you have the CDs, it’s still worth getting the DVD to see Abbado in action, and to hear the Resurrection in surround sound.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2009 *****

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Medici Arts Claudio Abbado Mahler Symphonies - 2053269

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Mahler: Symphony No. 2

Mahler: Symphony No. 2


Mahler:

Symphony No. 2 in C minor 'Resurrection'

Symphony No. 10 in F sharp major - Adagio


"Valery Gergiev's Mahler cycle with the London Symphony Orchestra seems now to have found its identity and this thrilling account of the 'Resurrection' Symphony, heard on the second of two consecutive evening performances, bore many of the hallmarks that have distinguished the series so far: dramatic, driven and occasionally impatient. With the LSO on splendid form, producing a brilliant, bright sound that pushed the Barbican's close acoustic to its limits, Gergiev presided over a drama of despair and redemption of the greatest intensity…The LSO chorus was in glorious voice and egged on more and more by Gergiev they joined with the orchestra to produce an enormous, brilliant and overwhelming sound. The pure, visceral thrill of the final bars, greeted with an enthusiastic ovation from the packed audience, crowned a very fine performance of this great work." MusicalCriticsm.com

"Faced with the London Symphony Orchestra's concentrated glare and attack, I considered cowering under my seat" The Times

“Singing without scores, the London Symphony Chorus are on unambiguous great form. Once Gergiev has the bit between his teeth, the tension hardly lets up…” Gramophone Magazine, March 2009

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LSO Live Gergiev Mahler Symphonies - LSO0666

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Mahler: Symphony No. 2 in C minor 'Resurrection'

Mahler: Symphony No. 2 in C minor 'Resurrection'


Recorded - Kingsway Hall, London, May 1966

“... the new Decca stereo recording has special points of excellence all its own. The most striking thing in the whole performance, for me, is the first movement, in which Solti penetrates to the inner significance of the unusual structure with an insight I have never encountered before. The short movement for contralto is treated sensitiviely. Helen Watts sings beautifully. The vast finale ... usually comes off almost automatically ... Solti builds it up impressively ... chorus, orchestra and soloists leave nothing to be desired ... the stereo recording is one of Decca's best... bringing off perfectly all the different perspectives of the off-stage brass. The early unison calls are certainly "in the far distance"; the marching band music is indeed "scarcely perceptible" and then "getting nearer"; the later fanfares for the four trumpets are electrifyingly "much nearer"; ... we have surely the sound Mahler must have imagined, according to his meticulous indications” Gramophone Magazine

Decca - Originals - 4758501

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Mahler: Symphony No. 2 in C minor 'Resurrection'

Mahler: Symphony No. 2 in C minor 'Resurrection'


Building a Library

Historic Choice - January 2000

Presto CD

Decca Critics' Choice - 4765762

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Mahler: Symphony No. 2 in C minor 'Resurrection'

Mahler: Symphony No. 2 in C minor 'Resurrection'


Lisa Milne (soprano) & Birgit Remmert (alto)

Budapest Festival Orchestra & The Hungarian Radio Choir, Iván Fischer

"Total engagement, meaningful articulation and a blend of freedom and intensity" BBC Music Magazine

“…Fischer… rarely pushes too hard. The orchestral sound is lean but not undernourished, allowing for even balance between contesting lines - outstanding in the funereal coda of the first movement - and a clearer than usual interplay between gleaming upper brass and woodwind.” BBC Music Magazine, October 2006 ****

“Stylistically, Fischer is right on the money. He has a keen nose for Mahler's particular brand of the ebb and flow of the music, the way it speaks, or rather sings; the bucolic and melodramatic elements of the score are vividly conflicted; and best of all Fischer really breathes in the atmosphere of Mahler's precipitous flight to eternity.
The second theme of the first movement, which Mahler requests enter tentatively, shyly, does exactly that – Fischer's violins are barely audible, a rosy horizon briefly glimpsed through this bleak and forbidding landscape.
Few take this first movement to the edge of possibility that Mahler so clearly envisaged. Fischer does not shirk the often reckless extremes of tempo and dynamics but nor does he throw caution to the four winds in the terrifying stampede to its cliff-hanging climax. Leonard Bernstein is probably still alone in doing just that. But there are many other compensations here: a great sense of logic and line, a second movement whose homespun accenting belongs to a bygone era, likewise the close-harmony trumpets in the trio of the third movement so touchingly redolent of another time, another place.
But the crowning glory is, as it should be, the finale – and it is here that Fischer, his performers and his engineers, really excel. The 'special effects' of Mahler's elaborate Judgement Day fresco have rarely been so magically realised.
The offstage horns are so breathtakingly remote as to suggest the world of the living left far behind. Moments of quite extraordinary stasis precede the sounding of the Dies irae and the hushed entry of the chorus. And come the peroration (resplendent with fabulous horns), Fischer knows that it is with that final crescendo of the chorus and only then that the heavens really open. Impressive.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“The sound is distinctive, the music-making personal. … the crowning glory is, as it should be, the finale… The "special effects" of Mahler's elaborate Judgement Day fresco have rarely been so magically realised. The offstage horns are so breathtakingly remote as to suggest the world of the living left far behind. Moments of quite extraordinary stasis precede the sounding of the Dies irae and the hushed entry of the chorus. And come the peroration (resplendent with fabulous horns), Fischer knows that it is with that final crescendo of the chorus and only then that the heavens really open. Impressive.” Gramophone Magazine, Awards 2006

GGramophone Awards 2007

Editor's Choice

GGramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - Awards Issue 2006

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Channel Iván Fischer Mahler Symphonies - CCSSA23506

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Mahler: Symphony No. 2 in C minor 'Resurrection'

Mahler: Symphony No. 2 in C minor 'Resurrection'


“You emerge from Klemperer's first movement unharrassed, unsettled in the knowledge that this extraordinary music has something much more to yield. You miss those elements of high risk, the brave rhetorical gestures, the uncompromising extremes, in Klemperer's comparatively comfortable down-the-line response. He knocks minutes off most of the competition (yes, it's a fallacy that Klemperer was always slower), paying little or no heed to Mahler's innumerable expressive markings in passages which have so much to gain from them. Take, for example, the magical shift to remote E major with the ppp emergence of the second subject where Klemperer allows himself no lassitude whatsoever in the rubato despite Mahler's explicit requests to the contrary. Likewise the grisly procession of cellos and basses which begins the approach to the awesome climax of the development. How little Klemperer makes of their cadaverous first entry or Mahler's long backward glance just prior to the coda. But then, come the deceptive second movement minuet, something happens, the performance really begins to find its space. Klemperer's scherzo is ideally big-boned with fine rollicking horns and a lazy trio with lovely old-world close-harmony trumpets. And the finale, growing more and more momentous with every bar, possesses a unique aura. Not everyone is convinced by Klemperer's very measured treatment of the Judgement Day march. The grim reaper takes his time but the inevitability of what's to come is somehow the more shocking as a result. Klemperer's trumpets peak thrillingly in the bars immediately prior to the climax itself – and what a seismic upheaval he and his orchestra pull off at this point. The rest is sublime: marvellous spacial effects, off-stage brass and so on, an inspirational sense of the music burgeoning from the moment the chorus breathe life into the Resurrection Ode. It's a pity that in those days so many technical blemishes were allowed to make it to the final master, though EMI's digital remastering of this almost legendary reading is superb.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“Several other live Klemperer Mahler Seconds are extant. None, however, catches so memorably the unbridled force of Klemperer's commitment to the symphony and to the man who wrote it.” Gramophone Magazine, October 2010

“though in the last movement... some of Klemperer's speeds are designedly slow, he conveys supremely well the mood of transcendent, heavenly happiness” Penguin Guide, 2010 ***

EMI Great Recordings of the Century - 5672352

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Mahler: Symphony No. 2 in C minor 'Resurrection'

Mahler: Symphony No. 2 in C minor 'Resurrection'


Maria Stader, soprano, Janet Baker, mezzo-soprano

Chœurs de la cathédrale St Hedwig de Berlin, Philharmonie de Berlin, Sir John Barbirolli

“Barbirolli's long-buried radio recording from Berlin will be a revelation even to the many admirers of this great Mahlerian, and the result if electrifying from beginning to end. Helped by full, vividly immediate sound, this is an impassioned, freely volatile performance, massively powerful in the outer movements” Penguin Guide, 2010 ***

Testament - SBT21320

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Mahler: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2

Mahler: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2


Mahler:

Symphony No. 1 in D major 'Titan'

Symphony No. 2 in C minor 'Resurrection'

Heather Harper (soprano), Helen Watts (contralto)


“Helen Watts is wonderfully expressive, whilst the chorus has a rapt intensity that is the more telling when the recording perspectives are so clearly delineated...a genuine bargain at Double Decca price.” Penguin Guide, 2010 ***

Decca - Double Decca - 4489212

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