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.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

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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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)

$20.00

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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'


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, bbc.co.uk, 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

Warner Classics - 6473632

(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

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'

live recording, 8 October 1982


Audite Kubelik Mahler Cycle - AUDITE23402

(CD - 2 discs)

$14.75

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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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