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 ****

Presto Disc of the Week

30th September 2016

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Discs of the Year 2016 - up to 30% off

Münchner Philharmoniker - 9305211204

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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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Sir John Barbirolli conducts Mahler & Stravinsky

Sir John Barbirolli conducts Mahler & Stravinsky


Mahler:

Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection'

Victoria Elliot (soprano), Eugenia Zareska (mezzo)

Stravinsky:

Symphony of Psalms


By the time of his death, Sir John Barbirolli had conducted all the Mahler symphonies except the Eighth “Symphony of a Thousand”, and the reconstructed Tenth. He conducted the two completed movements of the Tenth (the Adagio and Purgatorio). Recordings are available for Nos. 1,2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9.

He conducted the Adagietto of the Fifth on several occasions, the first of these being in New York. He performed the song-cycle Kindertotenlieder, with Elena Gerhardt at the Royal Philharmonic Society concert on 29 January 1931. He conducted it in Manchester in 1946 and several times later with Kathleen Ferrier (see the Barbirolli Society release SJB1080).

In 1959 he decided to prepare the Ninth Symphony and the acclaim for his interpretation inaugurated 16 years of almost an obsession with Mahler.

He repeated the Ninth in the next Hallé season and programmed it in Edinburgh, Sheffield, Leeds, Houston, Chicago and elsewhere. He conducted the Second in La Scala, Milan, for he was determined to spread the gospel of Mahler worldwide. In January 1963 he conducted the Ninth in Berlin, where Mahler’s music was little known. In 1965 he conducted the Second three times in Berlin with Janet Baker.

We are fortunate that this thrilling performance, recorded on 12 March 1959 in the Free Trade Hall, with Victoria Elliot and Eugenia Zareska as soloists and the Hallé Orchestra and Choir, is now available for the first time. Probably few people think of Barbirolli as a Stravinsky interpreter, but he regularly programmed a handful of works and did them impressively. The rhythms and colours of the Firebird and Petrushka ballets evoked some exciting performances. He gave excellent accounts of the Symphony in Three Movements and the more classic Symphony in C. The Symphony of Psalms was a favourite too if there was enough rehearsal time to do justice to the great work. It obviously had been well prepared for performance on the evidence of this disc taken from a broadcast from the Edinburgh Festival on 28 August 1957.

The choir had to travel overnight from Manchester and arrived at Prince’s Street Station at 5am on a miserable cold and wet morning. Their spirits lifted when they saw the familiar figure, with his large hat and carrying his stick, waiting to greet them.

As can be heard on this disc, he gives the music a reverential quality but does not indulge in any exaggerated religiosity. Typically, he probes the score for every ounce of lyricism without compromising the music’s baroque style.

“Barbirolli and his Hallé forces make an excellent job of the finale. The recording is somewhat stretched by some of the loudest passages – the opening being one such case – but on the other hand the offstage effects are very well managed and the incandescent ending is sonically well conveyed...admirers of this great conductor will surely want to hear them.” MusicWeb International, 10th October 2014

Building a Library

Also Recommended - April 2017

Barbirolli Society - SJB107879

(CD - 2 discs)

$15.75

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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)

$30.25

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Mahler: Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection'

Mahler: Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection'

Recorded 19th August 1989 (stereo, analogue)


James Levine left his mark not only on the operatic life of the Salzburg Festival but also on its concerts, in particular its Mahler renaissance, culminating in the present performance of the ‘Resurrection’ Symphony, which is magnificently sung by chorus and soloists and superbly played by the Vienna Phil.

“Christa Ludwig, Kathleen Battle and the Vienna State Opera Chorus had no difficulty in achieving the same high level as that by Levine and his orchestra, we were witness to a Mahler experience that will remain with us for a very long time.” Volker Boser, Münchner Abendzeitung 21/8/1989

“Levine's 1989 Salzburg account would seem to have been fashioned with the delicate sensibilities of the glamorous festival audience in mind. It's a reading which dutifully pushes most of the right buttons but never the music's extremes. Everything is kept on a pretty even keel...Of course, the Vienna strings offer an echt Viennese account of the Andante” Gramophone Magazine, April 2012

Building a Library

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Orfeo - Orfeo d'Or - Salzburger Festspieldokumente - C837112B

(CD - 2 discs)

$12.75

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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

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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

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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.

“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

“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 ****

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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