Mahler: Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection'

This page lists all recordings of Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection', by Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) on CD, SACD, DVD, Blu-ray & download (MP3 & FLAC). Generally, more recent releases are listed first, but with priority given to those that are in stock.


May 2010
May 2010
Historic Choice
January 2000
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August 2011
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February 2010
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Awards Issue 2006
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February 2006
Editor's Choice
October 2012
Editor's Choice
March 2011
Editor's Choice
February 2010
Re-issue of the Month
December 2012

All recordings

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Mahler: Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection'

Mahler: Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection'

Evgenia Gorokhovskaya (mezzo-soprano) & Galina Kovalyova (soprano)

Choir of the Leningrad State Academic, Kirov Opera and Ballet Theatre, The Symphony Orchestra of the Leningrad State Academic Kirov Opera & Ballet Theatre, Yuri Temirkanov

Firma Melodiya presents a recording of Gustav Mahler’s Second Symphony as interpreted by Yuri Temirkanov.

The Second Symphony was a landmark in Mahler’s artistic biography. It took him six years to compose (1888 to 1894), and chronologically it concurred with the swift rise of his conducting career. For the first time Mahler addressed a tragic collision of the inevitability of death thus casting doubt on the purpose of human existence (“Why did you live? Why did you suffer? Is it all an enormous frightful joke?” the composer wrote to a friend).

The Second Symphony became Mahler’s first vocal one. Just like Beethoven, he needed a word to completely expose his idea, and the words were found in Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock’s ode (“Rise again, yes, you shall rise again / My dust”) – the answer to the symphony’s main question was found in the Christian idea of Resurrection.

The large-scale line-up and huge volume of the symphony (it lasts more than 80 minutes) did not prevent it from becoming one of Mahler’s most popular works, and it has been subjected to numerous interpretations by conductors.

Yuri Temirkanov is a prominent representative of Ilya Musin’s school, who now heads the Academic Symphony Orchestra of the St Petersburg Philharmonic Society and previously conducted the orchestra of the State Academic Kirov (now Mariinsky) Opera and Ballet Theatre for many years. With that orchestra, he was one of the first in the USSR who recorded Mahler’s Second Symphony, in 1980. The recording features Kirov Theatre soloists Evgenia Gorokhovskaya and Galina Kovalyova.

Melodiya - MELCD1002253

(CD - 2 discs)


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Mahler: Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection'

Mahler: Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection'

arrangement for Small Orchestra by Gilbert Kaplan and Rob Mathes

Marlis Petersen (soprano) & Janina Baechle (mezzo-soprano)

Wiener Kammerorchester & Wiener Singakademie, Gilbert Kaplan

Gilbert Kaplan, the best-selling Mahler interpreter in history, conducts the Wiener Kammerorchester, Wiener Singakadamie and soloists soprano Marlis Petersen and mezzo-soprano Janina Baechle, in a unique new version of Mahler's Symphony No. 2 ‘Resurrection’: his own arrangement, with Rob Mathes, for small orchestra, designed for chamber, community and regional opera orchestras to perform this work which normally requires more than 100 musicians.

Gilbert Kaplan is one of today’s most authoritative and acclaimed interpreters of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, having conducted the work at the invitation of more than 65 orchestras.

His 1987 recording with the London Symphony Orchestra is the best-selling Mahler recording in history, with sales approaching 200,000 copies. A second recording, with the Vienna Philharmonic, based on the New Critical Edition of the score for which Kaplan served as co-editor, was released in 2003 on DG. With sales of almost 50,000 copies, it is the best-selling recording of Mahler’s Second since the date of its release.

Now, with his third recording, based on a live performance at the Konzerthaus in Vienna, Kaplan is set to make history once again - not only capturing the imagination of his vast worldwide followers, but also providing an opportunity for chamber, community and regional opera orchestras to perform this work which normally requires more than 100 musicians (there are only 56 musicians performing on this recording). His recording with the Vienna Chamber Symphony sets the benchmark.

While reducing the instrumentation, Kaplan and his co-arranger Rob Mathes remain faithful to Mahler’s musical intentions and orchestral colours. They take a page, of sorts, out of Mahler’s book - the composer made numerous arrangements himself, often adding (rather than subtracting) instruments to symphonic staples by Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Schumann. In another nod to history, the Kaplan/Mathes chamber arrangement recalls Schoenberg’s scaled down versions of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde and Symphony No. 4.

Avie - AV2290

(CD - 2 discs)


(also available to download from $10.00)

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Mahler: Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection'

Mahler: Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection'

Benjamin Zander and Linn launch their new partnership with Mahler’s hugely popular ‘Resurrection’ Symphony; exceptionally challenging and thrillingly powerful it is the perfect showcase for Zander’s distinctive balance of insightful musicianship and emotional intensity.

A GRAMMY-nominated conductor, Zander has established an impressive reputation as arguably the most devoted Mahlerian of today, having previously released seven of the nine symphonies to critical acclaim.

Together with the Philharmonia Orchestra Zander’s recordings of Mahler symphonies have inspired critics worldwide to use superlatives such as ‘revelatory’, ‘exhilarating’, ‘illuminating’ and ‘remarkable’.

An infectiously enthusiastic communicator, Benjamin Zander has also recorded a detailed and highly informative discussion to accompany the recording (available to download for free).

The featured soloists are Sarah Connolly, one of the foremost British mezzo sopranos who has impressed at La Scala and Glyndebourne, and Swedish soprano Miah Persson, who is in great demand with the major opera houses including Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Metropolitan Opera New York.

Further commendations for his Mahler Symphonies include: nominated for a GRAMMY Award in the category of Best Orchestral Performance (Ninth Symphony), named a ‘Top 10 Recording of 2001’ by the New York Times and The Sunday Times (Fourth and Fifth Symphonies respectively), named a ‘Recording of the Year’ by Boston Globe, The Sunday Times, and Fanfare Magazine (Sixth Symphony).

Benjamin Zander is the conductor of The Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and a guest conductor around the world.

With London's famed Philharmonia Orchestra, he is recording the complete cycle of Mahler symphonies, recordings which have been received with extraordinary critical acclaim and several awards.

“don’t expect searing agony: Zander prefers the lofty objective view, and lets the drama of death and resurrection unfold without jabbing our elbows...Special ingredients? The tense opening bars; the feeling radiating from mezzo Sarah Connolly; the finale’s first steps, so gravely beautiful; the prayerful singing of the Philharmonia Choir, steady at the slowest speeds” The Times, 15th November 2013 ****

“Zander's Resurrection begins well enough with a clear-etched, finely nuanced funeral march...[but in the Scherzo] the familiar Zander leisureliness becomes a liability...Salvation is on hand from the ever-meaningful, velvet-toned mezzo Sarah Connolly...You couldn't wish for a more floaty soprano than Miah Persson” BBC Music Magazine, Christmas Issue 2013 ***

“Zander’s way with the big first movement is impressive...Connolly is eloquent and rich of tone in ‘Urlicht’...the recorded sound is absolutely superb, making a great impact yet also bringing out also countless little subtleties in Mahler’s scoring. The playing and singing are of an equally high order” MusicWeb International, December 2013

“The richly coloured performance, by a Philharmonia on top form, bears out many of Zander’s points, not least the vital importance in Mahler of a clarity of texture in which every line is audible. His argument for a slower than usual tempo in the spectral scherzo is also vindicated...Essential listening.” Sunday Times, 12th January 2014

“Zander's fidelity to Mahler's markings remains remarkable. So too goes he handle timbral contrasts supremely well, particularly in balancing the vocal soloists Miah Persson and Sarah Connolly within the overall texture.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2014

Super Audio CD


Hybrid Multi-channel

Linn - CKD452

(SACD - 2 discs)


(also available to download from $20.00)

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Mahler: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2

Mahler: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2


Symphony No. 1 in D major 'Titan'

Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection'

Eiko Soga (soprano), Yuko Tsuji (mezzo), Choir of Kunitachi College of Music

King Records - KKC2031

(CD - 2 discs)


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Mahler: Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection'

Mahler: Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection'

“The 76-minute timing tells you that Kubelik's is a swift, practical vision of Resurrection. Sound engineering may have moved on, but this still makes a keen introduction to Mahler” BBC Music Magazine, July 2013 ****

DG Virtuoso - 4785184



(Sorry, download not available in your country)

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Historic Mahler & Bruckner

Historic Mahler & Bruckner


Symphony No. 3 in D minor ‘Wagner Symphony'

1890 version. Live recording, 8 April 1953 from the Wiener Konzerthausgesellschaft


Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection'

Original production by ORF [Austrian Radio], studio recording, 29 March 1956.

Anny Felbermayer (soprano) & Sonja Dreksler (alto)

Austrian Radio Choir

Vienna Symphony Orchestra, F.Charles Adler

A conducting student of Mahler, F. Charles Adler conducts the Vienna Symphony Orchestra in works by Anton Bruckner: Symphony No. 3 in D minor (WAB 103) [1890 version first published by Theodor Rättig]. Live recording, 8 April 1953 from the Wiener Konzerthausgesellschaft, Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 2 in C-minor, “Resurrection,” with Anny Felbermayer, sop.; Sonja Dreksler, alto; Austrian Radio Choir. Original production by ORF [Austrian Radio], studio recording, 29 March 1956. Both recordings are previously unissued.

“the courage, enterprise and vision of musicians such as Charles Adler in presenting these scores cannot be overstated. There may be shortcomings in these performances – or, at least, shortcomings as judged by today’s standards...However, there’s also a great deal to commend these readings and they are well worth hearing. Music & Arts deserve our gratitude” MusicWeb International, 3rd May 2013

Music & Arts - MACD1265

(CD - 2 discs)


(also available to download from $20.00)

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Mahler: Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection'

Mahler: Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection'

Christiane Oelze (soprano) & Sarah Connolly (alto)

Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, MDR Rundfunkchor, Berliner Rundfunkchor & GewandhausChor, Riccardo Chailly

The Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the oldest concert orchestra in the world, and their Music Director Riccardo Chailly have already acquired legendary status – glorious reviews and many awards for their recordings testifying to their continuing success. At Leipzig’s International Mahler Festival, to mark the centenary of Mahler’s death, they performed his monumental Second Symphony in the Gewandhaus – together with two marvellous soloists and choral forces quite beyond compare. About the final movement the composer said: “The increasing tension, working up to the final climax, is so tremendous that I don’t know myself, now that it is over, how I ever came to write it.”

Picture Format Blu-ray: Full HD

Sound Formats Blu-ray: DTS HD Master Audio, PCM Stereo

Region Code: 0 (worldwide)

Running Time: 95:42 min

Disc Format: BD 25

FSK: 0

“[Chailly] has turned wiry Gewandhaus strings into muscular proponents; the first real moment of magic is when he gives the cor anglais space to etch the Alpine idyll at the heart of the first movement...Chailly's facial expressions rightly express his sheer sense of visceral enjoyment...And Sarah Connolly's part in the proceedings is surprisingly intense” BBC Music Magazine, January 2012 ****

“this one is something special. The acoustic of Leipzig's Gewandhaus hall is a star in itself: the offstage horn and trumpet fanfares sound as thrilling as the orchestra's playing, itself near-fabulous from start to finish...[Chailly's] conducting charts a wonderfully sure path through Mahler's epic conception. And in the 'Urlicht' movement Sarah Connolly's singing, like the orchestra's playing, is as moving and beautiful as it's possible to imagine.” Classic FM Magazine, February 2012 *****

“these are red-blooded performances. The Italian conductor has long been a respected Mahlerian, capable of welding the symphonies’ huge structures and quixotic moods into a coherent musical statement...Sarah Connolly deliver[s] a radiant “Urlicht”” Financial Times, 15th October 2011 ****

“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...Christane Oelze is outstanding too, at once bright and warm.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2012

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Accentus Music Riccardo Chailly Mahler Symphony cycle - ACC10238



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Mahler: Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection'

Mahler: Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection'

Recorded live at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, London, on 25 & 26 September 2009

Adriana Kucerová (soprano) & Christianne Stotijn (mezzo soprano)

London Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir, Vladimir Jurowski

The London Philharmonic Orchestra has a long heritage with Mahler’s symphonies cemented in a mid-European tradition through Tennstedt’s work with the Orchestra in the 1980s and early 1990s. Vladimir Jurowski has waited longer than many other conductors might before tackling Mahler mainly, he says, because to approach this music is “to touch on something that is for me extremely precious and personal”.

Mahler’s Second Symphony is a compelling start to Jurowski’s documentation of this great composer. His approach fully reveals the dynamic extremes in Mahler and this recording emphsises how much soft scoring there is, such is Jurowski’s sensitivity and control. Jurowski differs from Tennstedt in that there is no over emotional self-indulgence, he allows the music to do the talking and his tempos and pacing are faultless.

‘...when the chorus finally stood up and let rip in the closing moments, it set the seal on a masterful performance from a world-class orchestra-conductor team.’ The Guardian, September 2009

“This epic journey from dark to light is hardly short of recordings, but this live one can hold its head up high. The soloists are superb, and the LPO plays beautifully for Jurowski, who shows a total mastery of pacing. The huge narrative of the finale can easily sag, but here it leads unerringly to the magical choral entry.” The Telegraph, 23rd June 2011 ****

“A performance of revelations, big and small, and easily the most illuminating to have appeared on disc in a very long time...probably now the prime recommendation, the "library" choice, that has for so long eluded us...The really big factor here is Jurowski's command of Mahler's very particular and very dramatic way with rubato and the shock of newness that comes from those explicit extremes.” Gramophone Magazine, August 2011

“The interlude-minuet of bygone days is deliberately nuanced, like much else here. Then Jurowski pulls off his finest feat of tonal novelty in a hyper-modern scherzo...[Stotijn], Kucerová and the chorus then make a swiftish resurrection the most human and personable on disc, deserving all the wild cheers.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2011 *****

“His Allegro maestoso opening is fierce, fast and unyielding...The movement’s dissonant climax is an Expressionist shocker. We’ve tipped over the abyss and the closing pages are pitch black...Jurowski’s finale grips from the outset; offstage brass are perfectly caught, and I like the flowing tempo he adopts when building up to the massive, ecstatic eruption 13 minutes in.” Graham Rickson, The Arts Desk, 11th June 2011

“imaginatively conceived and very well played...Jurowski makes the whole structure cohere extremely well, and in his case swift doesn't mean superficial: there's great cumulative power as well as rhythmic precision...'Urlicht' is sung with great poise and dignity by Christianne Stotijn; she has a lovely sense of line and approaches the song with touching simplicity.” International Record Review, July/August 2011

GGramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - August 2011

LPO - LPO0054

(CD - 2 discs)


(also available to download from $20.00)

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Mahler: Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection'

Mahler: Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection'

live 1989

Barbara Kilduff (soprano) & Christa Ludwig (mezzo)

National Choir 'Rinat', Tel Aviv Philharmonic Choir, Ihud Choir & Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, James Levine

"I don't remember when last the Israeli orchestra played as it did last night...I don't remember an Israeli choir ever singing in whispers, as the three choirs that participated in the performance sang together last night. And Christa Ludwig was also with them, a singer with the presence of a queen..The moment when Ludwig's voice was heard in Urlicht ('first light' in the fourth section) will not be forgotten: the human warmth and depth of expression raised the great performance of the symphony another level." Israeli daily newspaper, 'Ha'aretz'

Helicon - 02-9634

(CD - 2 discs)


(also available to download from $15.00)

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Mahler: Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection'

Mahler: Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection'

Gustav Mahler’s epic Symphony No. 2 ‘Resurrection’ with Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Rundfunkchor Berlin and star soloists Kate Royal and Magdalena Kožená was recorded in concert at Berlin’s Philharmonie in late October 2010 and will be released on CD by EMI Classics in February 2011.

The Symphony, scored for orchestra, soloists and chorus, tackles the great mysteries of life and death and was already among the most successful and popular of Mahler’s symphonies during his lifetime. Not only was the work premiered by the Berliner Philharmoniker (in 1895) but it is an important work in Simon Rattle’s musical trajectory. The partnership of Sir Simon and the BPO in Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 portends a ground-breaking new recording.

The concerts on October 28-30 form part of a Mahlerthon of sorts, in which the Berliner Philharmoniker will perform all the symphonies between August 2010 and the end of 2011 in commemoration of two Mahler anniversaries: the 150th anniversary of his birth (7 July 2010) and the centenary of his death (18 May 2011).

The symphonies of Gustav Mahler have been a central theme in Simon Rattle’s career. “[Mahler’s Symphony No 2] was the piece that made me take up conducting in the first place when I heard it in a live performance when I was 12. Mahler aimed to put the entire world into a symphony and this world goes from the death rights of some unnamed hero through a memory of what life was in both its beauty and its horror and final resurrection and redemption. It’s on a vast canvas with many, many performers and, for me, it is one of the most moving of all orchestral works.”

Whilst still a student at the Royal Academy of Music in the 1970s, Rattle organised and conducted a performance of the Second Symphony. Since then, he has performed all of the Mahler symphonies on many occasions, principally with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Berliner Philharmoniker and the Wiener Philharmoniker. At his Berlin debut in 1987, Rattle led the Berliner Philharmoniker in the Symphony No. 6, and his inaugural concert as the Orchestra’s Principal Conductor in September 2002 featured the Symphony No. 5.

Simon Rattle’s Mahler symphony performances on disc have won enthusiastic critical praise over the years: “Where Simon Rattle's interpretation is concerned, we must go into the realm of such giant Mahlerians as Walter and Klemperer, dissimilar as they were. For we are dealing here with conducting akin to genius, with insights and instincts that cannot be measured with any old yardstick.” (Gramophone on the 1987 recording of the Symphony No. 2 with the CBSO, Arleen Auger and Dame Janet Baker); “A triumph…It can safely be ranked among the finest performances on record.” (Gramophone on the 2002 recording of Symphony No. 5 with the BPO); “The final ascent to the big blue yonder is surely unsurpassable - on both the sonic and interpretative fronts… There's no doubt, then, that Rattle has inspired all concerned to an achievement which joins his groundbreaking readings of the Third, Seventh and Tenth Symphonies in the Mahlerian heaven.” (BBC Music Magazine on the 2005 recording of the Symphony No. 8 ‘Symphony of a Thousand’ with the CBSO); “One of the finest interpretations on record of Mahler’s great unfinished symphony… Rattle supremely allies mesmerising detail to awesome scale in an intense, award-winning live account” (Classic FM Magazine on the 2000 recording of the Symphony No. 10 with the BPO).

“The opening bars certainly make you sit bolt upright. Upper strings tremble; lower strings thrust: Rattle starts the symphony’s journey in a flourish of power and mystery...In the nostalgic second movement Rattle remains winningly light-footed. We also enjoy the benefits of deeper feelings. Listen to the sweetly lyrical strings once the opening hurly-burly is done” The Times, 4th February 2011

“Rattle represents its quasi-Expressionist leanings, its wilfulness and Weltschmerz: Mahler as modernist...Rattle’s micromanagement underlines Mahler’s glaring colours and edginess...Magdalena Kozena (Rattle’s wife) handles the Urlicht movement with chaste refinement, and the Berlin Philharmonic plays with phenomenal commitment and finesse.” Financial Times, 5th February 2011 ****

“Kožená brings her customary depth of feeling to the still maternal voice of "Urlicht"...Rattle's famous piano-pianissimos are deployed to breathtaking effect, the choral passages (radiantly illuminated at the top by Kate Royal) sound pure, mysterious and very Bachian, and the returning resurrection hymn is tremendous” Gramophone Magazine, March 2011

“Countless surface details and fleeting shades emerge as Rattle's vision unfolds, delivered not as wilful impostors but according to the score's letter. Beyond breathtaking playing, peerless choral singing and the supernatural beauty of Magdalena Kožená's Urlicht solo, this performance spans Mahler's infinitely complex universe with compelling intellectual insight and expressive force” Classic FM Magazine, March 2011 ****

“Rattle places considerable weight on this audacious conflation of tone-poem...and sonata-form...his is undoubtedly a reading of as well as for the present.” International Record Review, March 2011

“the post-holocaust enchantments are magically coloured. For anyone who cares about this symphony Rattle's new recording is essential listening, if not necessarily a first port of call...[he] sets new standards with the light, shade and shock of his Berlin funeral rites which open the symphony.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2011 ****

“the sound is almost miraculously analytical, and the combination of Rattle's attention to detail and the superlative playing of his great orchestra ensures that every morsel of Mahler's scoring makes its point.” The Guardian, 24th February 2011 ****

“Of course there’s much to admire. The BPO are on fantastic form, the recorded sound is sumptuous but clear and Rattle brings some new thoughts to the piece. The first movement is striking for its deliberate, almost stealthy beginning, and there’s a slow, almost dreamlike delicacy about the music.” The Telegraph, 25th February 2011 ***

“Throughout [the opening], Rattle marshals his players enough to let the schizophrenic terror of the movement have its effect...Exultantly we are drawn onward, though, toward the inevitable choral closing section, which is positively heaven-sent when it finally arrives... in Rattle's hands it is supremely thrilling.” Daniel Ross,, 22/02/2011

“Rattle’s tempos have broadened slightly, but crucially they never feel self-indulgent, and indeed these broad tempos add to the majesty and grandeur of the performance...while there is still the incredible attention to detail which Rattle’s Mahler is renowned for – with intricate balance, careful phrasing and stunning dynamic contrasts...I think Rattle lets his Berlin players ‘play’ a little more than he did the CBSO.” Chris O'Reilly, Presto Classical, 7th February 2011

Presto Disc of the Week

7th February 2011

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - March 2011

EMI - 6473632

(CD - 2 discs)


In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.


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