Mahler: Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection' - CD

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

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Mahler: Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection'

Mahler: Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection'


The first releases from the Munich Philharmonic’s own recording label feature sensational performances of works by two composers with whom the orchestra is closely associated: Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 and Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4.

The recording of Mahler’s Second Symphony was made during the opening concerts of Valery Gergiev’s first season as Music Director of the Munich Philharmonic. Since first coming to prominence after winning the Karajan Conducting Competition at the age of 24, Gergiev has established himself as one of the world’s great conductors and communicators on the value and role of music in today’s society.

The Munich Philharmonic had an especially close relationship with Gustav Mahler and has long been associated with his music. Mahler conducted the Munich Philharmonic at the world premieres of his very own Fourth and Eighth Symphonies as well as Das Lied von der Erde.

Although he rarely offered direct insight into any specific meaning behind his music, Mahler’s symphonies are characterised by the sense of a composer openly expressing his emotions regarding the great struggle of “life”. His epic second symphony, often referred to as The Resurrection Symphony, culminates in a spectacular final movement, complete with chorus, as the music passes though darkness to a place of redemption and elation.

For this astonishing recording, Gergiev and the Munich Philharmonic are joined by soprano Anne Schwanewilms and mezzo-soprano Olga Borodina, as well as the magnificent Munich Philharmonic Choir.

Valery Gergiev has held many of the top roles in the world of classical music and is one of the most influential conductors of our time. He is General and Artistic Director of the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg, where is has lead a renaissance of this historic institution, firmly re-establishing it as one of the world’s leading opera and ballet companies. From 2006 to 2015 he was Principal Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra. He has also enjoyed positions and close relationships with the Metropolitan Opera, Vienna Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Pacific Music Festival and World Orchestra for Peace, whose founder Sir Georg Solti nominated him as his successor as Music Director. However, Gergiev’s role with the Munich Philharmonic is his first position with a German orchestra.

Gergiev has a peerless reputation in Russian and French repertoire. He has received acclaim around the world, and recordings with Philips, LSO Live and Mariinsky have won countless awards, especially in the music of Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Berlioz and Debussy. However, over recent decades he has become widely regarded as one of the greatest and most exciting conductors of German repertoire in the world today, garnering adulation, especially for his interpretations of Wagner, Strauss, Mahler and Bruckner – music that is at the very heart of the Munich Philharmonic’s repertoire.

“It reminds me a little of Karajan at his paradoxical best/worst: magnificently convincing in its artistic overview, rather less persuasive when it comes to what Henry James called the ‘sharpness of human contact’” BBC Music Magazine, January 2017 ****

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30th September 2016

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Münchner Philharmoniker - 9305211204

(CD)

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Mahler: Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection'

Mahler: Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection'

arrangement for piano four hands by Bruno Walter


Maasa Nakazawa (piano) & Suhrud Athavale (piano)

World-renowned conductor Bruno Walter was particularly well acquainted with Gustav Mahler’s work, and was employed as his assistant at the Hamburg Opera at the time Mahler’s Second Symphony was given its première in Berlin. Walter prepared his precise and imaginative “reduction for piano” soon afterwards and in close collaboration with the composer. Bruno Walter regarded the ‘Resurrection’ Symphony as one of his mentor’s key works, from the “dramatic struggles” of the first movement to the “lightning bolt” that inspired its sublime choral finale.

Naxos - 8573350

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$8.50

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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 'Resurrection'

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


King Records - KKC2031

(CD - 2 discs)

$30.00

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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)

$13.00

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Mahler: Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection'

Mahler: Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection'


Juliane Banse (soprano), Anna Larsson (contralto)

Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, Schweizer Kammerchor, David Zinman

RCA Zinman Mahler Symphonies - 88697513072

(CD - 2 discs)

$16.00

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Mahler: Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection'

Mahler: Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection'


Natalie Dessay (soprano) & Alice Coote (mezzo soprano)

Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra & Orféon Donostarria, Paavo Järvi

Clarity of vision and tonal splendour characterise this live performance of Mahler’s epic ‘Resurrection’ Symphony under Paavo Järvi. The Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra is joined by the Orféon Donostarria and soloists Alice Coote and Natalie Dessay.

Following their Virgin Classics disc of ‘Mahler Movements’, released in 2009, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Paavo Järvi are now heard in a live recording of Mahler’s epic Symphony No 2, ‘Resurrection’.

This epic work comprises five movements and calls upon two soloists, a mezzo soprano, who sings the fourth-movement ‘Urlicht’ (here Alice Coote) and a soprano (Natalie Dessay), who soars over the massed forces in the final movement. The orchestra is joined by the celebrated choir from the Basque country, the Orféon Donostarria, which has been described by the Neue Zürcher Zeitung as “a miracle of sonic glory”.

The Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra (also known as the hr-Sinfonieorchester) became internationally celebrated as a Mahler orchestra in the 1970s and 80s, when Eliahu Inbal was its principal conductor. Now, the Estonian-born Järvi has established a distinctive approach to the Austrian composer’s music. As the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung judged after the concert performances of the ‘Resurrection’ in May 2009:

“It was to be expected that Järvi’s Mahler interpretation would not expend its energies on sentimentality or bombast. He is intent on exploring the wealth of contrasts in this symphony, to clarify structures and to crystallise the often innovative overlaying of compositional processes … His artistic understanding guaranteed a thoughtful, subtle interpretation, which was crowned by the contribution of the Orféon Donostarria choir from San Sebastian, splendidly accurate in its intonation and nuanced in its dynamics. Natalie Dessay and Alice Coote, meanwhile, impressed with the inspiration and intensity of their expression.”

The Frankfurter Rundschau felt that “it was as if an angelic lucidity had taken hold of the orchestra,” while the Frankfurter Neue Presse stated that: “The HR Symphony Orchestra again provided an impressive demonstration of its command of monumental material of this kind … Paavo Järvi exercised immaculate control over the huge forces … and cultivated a sound that was both transparent and imbued with intimations of death and resurrection.”

Those observations on Järvi’s vision of Mahler echo the critical response to the CD of ‘Mahler Movements’: “Even dyed-in-the-wool Mahlerians will hear things anew”, proclaimed Journal Frankfurt, while Fono Forum, Germany’s leading magazine in the field of classical recorded music, commented thus on the Adagio fragment from the 10th Symphony: “[Järvi’] shapes Mahler’s … final word atmospherically and sculpturally, convincing us of its unique greatness as a freestanding movement, while also developing its bold formal concept in a way which precludes even a moment’s doubt as to the validity of the fragment.”

Järvi, born in 1962, will become Music Director of the Orchestre de Paris from the 2010-11 season. In addition to his post in Frankfurt, he holds the position of Music Director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and is Artistic Adviser to the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and Artistic Director of the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen.

“Alice Coote glides in with magisterial warmth, the perfect mediator between the human and the divine...the extremes of the finale are this performance's other great asset. Super audio it may not be, but in plain stereo this is certainly state of the art.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2010 ****

“A vitality and freedom to the playing impresses at every turn...With no fakery or over-nurturing to compromise the blazing integrity and vital belief that Mahler invested in this score, Järvi's performance is a triumph that delivers on every count.” International Record Review, July/August 2010

Erato - 6945860

(CD - 2 discs)

$10.25

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Mahler: Symphony No. 2

Mahler: Symphony No. 2


Mahler:

Symphony No. 2 '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

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

LSO Live Gergiev Mahler Symphonies - LSO0666

(SACD - 2 discs)

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Mahler: Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection'

Mahler: Symphony No. 2 '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 'Resurrection'

Mahler: Symphony No. 2 '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

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Disc of the Month - Awards Issue 2006

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Channel Iván Fischer Mahler Symphonies - CCSSA23506

(SACD - 2 discs)

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Mahler: Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection'

Mahler: Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection'


Rainer Keuschnig (organ), Christine Schäfer (soprano) & Michelle Deyoung (mezzo-soprano)

Wiener Philharmoniker & Wiener Singverein, Pierre Boulez

Larry L. Dash wrote in the Financial Times: 'Boulez's Mahler is revelatory in its leanness: no frills, just the music . . . I was trembling by the end of the performance . . . This was not merely an evening's entertainment, but a life-changing experience for anyone who thought they knew their Mahler.'

DG Pierre Boulez Mahler cycle - E4776004

(CD)

$13.25

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