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Load image into Gallery viewer, Mahler: Symphony No. 2 in C minor 'Resurrection'
Load image into Gallery viewer, Mahler: Symphony No. 2 in C minor 'Resurrection'
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Mahler: Symphony No. 2 in C minor 'Resurrection'
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Mahler: Symphony No. 2 in C minor 'Resurrection'
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Warner Bros.

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

4.5
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Customer Reviews

Worth Buying If You Love MahlerThis is a better recording than Rattle's first Mahler 2nd, which for reasons that I don't understand won Gramophone's "best classical recording " of the year when it was releases. Leading the BPO rather than the Bournemouth is a large part of the reason, but it's clear that with more experience and performances of the work, Rattle's grown into a deeper interpretation.I dislike criticizing contemporary conductors in favor of the older generation, but I think I'll be going to Klemperer first when I want to hear the "Resurrection", as well as a few others. Still, if you love Mahler, you want to have as many interpretations of his music as you can afford, and Rattle's second version of the 2nd is a worthy addition, much more than his first version.4Rattle Earns the ResurrectionIf only EMI had given this kind of sound to Simon Rattle's recordings of Mahler's 10th and 5th in Berlin. The former is squashed, harsh, and lacking in bass, the latter is practically unlistenable. It's not unusual for poor-sounding recordings to come out of the Philharmonie, but EMI seems to have had a more difficult time in the venue than Decca, DG, or several other labels. Fortunately, this "Resurrection" disc sounds as rich and balanced as one could wish for. While it lacks the last ounce of leap-out-of-the-speakers vibrancy boasted by the best discs, the orchestra and singers sound warm and natural and the clarity must be heard to be believed, especially in the pianissimo passages. The sonics are dry but not too dry; the Philharmonie no longer sounds like a cardboard box, as it did on the aforementioned recordings.Rattle's conception of the symphony is deeply spiritual and searching, which might disappoint those who are used to the barnstorming performances of Solti or Mehta. Mehta's is a recording I treasure, but where he is anguished, Rattle is questioning. Mehta's fortissimos are wilder, with brass tearing through the texture, but Rattle's, while firm, are more blended and deliberate. The climax feels earned and inevitable rather than ecstatic. Rattle shapes every line with his typical attention to detail, finding fresh color and expressive possibilities in familiar phrases, especially in the second and third movements. The playing of the Berlin Philharmonic is unimpeachable perfectly balanced, perfectly transparent. The overall effect is one of a great journey inward, and at the end, I have a stronger sense of how far we have come than in any other recording, since the road has been delineated so clearly.I am not a fan of the famous Solti or Klemperer recordings, and as much as I love Bernstein's other Mahler, he has always sounded incredibly flaccid to my ears in this symphony. Mehta, Fischer, and Thomas are strong choices for different points-of-view in excellent sound. But, without having heard Rattle's first recording in Birmingham, this Berlin performance is now my top recommendation for this symphony.5A wonderful version of Mahler's Symphony#2.Sympathy#2 is a classic. Sir Simon Rattle is a master. The CD is perfect.5Rattle asks the listener to take more time, but it's well worth it--beautiful Mahler that touches the depths of the soulFor Sir Simon Rattle, Mahler's "Resurrection" Symphony is sacred ground, as it was the piece that first inspired him to become a conductor. Not only did he go on to become one of the world's most extraordinary musicians, but he developed a long history interpreting the symphony. Now that he is at the helm of the Berlin Philharmonic, arguably the world's greatest orchestra, he must be almost in a daze, conducting a piece that evokes strong memories for him with an orchestra that can shock listeners with its skill--and Mahler is a particular strength of theirs. For many, the concern is that everything is so ideal for Rattle that he'll wallow in the strength of the orchestra without adding much new interpretive value.The very opening of the first movement lets us know that Rattle is at least trying to say something new. It's his slow tempi that will instantly catch the listener's ear. If you want the opening movement to push and pull with fiery intensity, you've come to the wrong place. I'm not sure if Rattle's approach is the most desirable, but within minutes I'm surrounded by sounds that are achingly beautiful. No one can voice like Rattle, certainly not in Mahler. If you're willing to take the time, there's a world of amazing detail waiting. And while Rattle isn't aiming for excitement, he's terrifying; just listen to the climaxes and you'll be knocked off your seat.Rattle seems to know that balance is important, quickening his pace in the 2nd movement. He's completely satisfying, digging into the music with vigor. This movement provides relief after the portentous preceding movement; Rattle lets it soar. The Berliners are captivating, responding to Rattle's every move with grace and an incomparable expressivity.After the timpani rudely awakens us from our dreams of blissful contentment, we're back to tossing and turning again. But Rattle is poised, choosing wit over outright agitation. By this time it has become clear that Rattle wants us to love this symphony, not fear it. In the 3rd movement that doesn't mean he's timid (the big climaxes couldn't be more chilling) but he takes time to show forth Mahler's soft side--and voice with an unrivaled mastery. It's emotionally gripping, to be sure, though some will wish he would quicken his pace. I for one am perfectly content, mesmerized, in fact.One would think that Rattle would have no beauty left for the 4th movement. But, no, he shows more tenderness than ever before. Magdalena Kozena, his wife, sings with unquestionable poignancy. I was moved to tears. Rattle finds a way to combine tragedy and optimism that is spell-binding. Once again, I'm thoroughly impressed.Rattle launches us into the massive finale with the full strength of the Berliners. This movement goes through a wide range of changing episodes, the kind of material that finds Rattle in his element. The music is wrought with anticipation; while preparing us for the unforgettable conclusion, Rattle wants us to enjoy the journey all the way through. When the brass make their entrance after several moments, it's with passion and astonishing power. As the movement progresses, Rattle becomes fiery and lets the Berliners play as if though their life is at stake but it never becomes slightly chaotic. When the Berlin Rundfunkchor enters, it's with haunting beauty. Kate Royal sings her part with sincerity and Rattle conducts with trustful expectation. There's good reason for expectation; after several moments of blissful sounds, it's time to experience the true power of resurrection. For many listeners, including myself, this is when Rattle is going to be tested the most. But he blossoms here more than ever. I'll just say that it's glorious, expansive, enough to lift one above the clouds. Rattle finds a way to express hope and love while still letting the music catch on fire. The last closing minutes leave me shouting with excitement. But when it's all over, I catch myself wiping away tears. That's something only the most genuine conductor can accomplish.In closing, this isn't a "Resurrection" for those who want the most dramatic Mahler on the market. Rattle takes a deeper approach, one that asks us to come to the work. But if you don't mind taking extra time, Rattle has achieved something extra special, wholly musical. While the orchestra is stunning, I don't think Rattle is guilty of relying on the Berliners to a fault; this is intimate Mahler that speaks to the heart. I owe Rattle my sincerest gratitude for making this symphony so touching.5An inspiring Resurrection Symphony.Having had the privilege of hearing Rattle and the Berliners perform this symphony at Carnegie Hall a few weeks ago, I wondered whether the recording would do justice to what I had heard live. We jaded New Yorkers rarely stand for anything but that performance received a sustained stander-upper.I am delighted to report that this recording matches the live performance, as well as a recording can. Little comment is needed about performance quality. The Berliner Philharmoniker, of course, is perhaps the world's greatest orchestra, and its members are committed to this work throughout the recording. What makes this recording stand out from the others is that Rattle has taken the risk of being accused of sentimentality, slowing the tempi throughout and pausing to emphasize especially dramatic musical and narrative transitions. To my ears, that risk has paid off spectacularly, both in the live performance I heard, and here. Hearing the brass ensemble in the final movement on this recording brought back the chilling-electrifying experience of hearing the offstage brass ensemble live.The New York Times review of the live performance, while positive, lacked the enthusiasm that I felt along with many in the audience. Several reviewers here have expressed similarly subdued feelings. But for me and for many others, this performance expresses what Mahler - a fellow emotional sap if ever there was one - must have intended. To put this into a personal context, this symphony has special meaning for me. In 1997, I underwent a religious conversion experience as a born-again Humanist. When it occurred, I turned to this symphony. Mahler may have intended a literal resurrection of the soul after death but for me the music invokes resurrection of the human spirit during life.What has that to do with this performance? The slower tempi and extended dramatic pauses offer a new way of hearing this magnificent work, as though Rattle and his orchestra are saying "no, really, pay attention, this is about life." Moments of dread sound like dread; moments of triumph sound like triumph, more here than in any other performance of the Resurrection I can think of. The descending triplets that close the first movement sound like a slow walk to the grave. (How else should that be presented?) That is what I listen for every time I listen to this work. To my ears, Rattle has delivered it more compellingly than anyone else, so that this recording has become my favorite recording of Mahler's Second.5Five StarsThis performance of the Mahler 2nd is magnificent.5Superb PerformanceAs a fan of all works by Mahler this performance is extraordinary! The orchestra and chorus were a delight to listen!5arrived quicklyx-x-x4This is an excellent performance, as Rattles performances always areThis is an excellent performance, as Rattles performances always are.But it is not up to the one on YouTube. I hope that one will be madeavailable.4Don't Let the Critics Fool YouI don't love all of Sir Simon's Mahler, but he has a way with #2, and you have to be one doctrinaire son-of-a-gun not to notice it. The EMI studio version was wondrously exciting as well, even if you didn't agree with everything he did. (Like the slow chromatic descent that ends Movement I, for example.) This will also plaster you to the wall! The orchestra plays rapturously, and the soloists (including the current Mrs. Rattle) are fine. There are great Mahler 2nds out there, so it's not like you have to run out and grab this if you already have Bernstein (NY), Tennstedt (the incredible LPO concert version), or the other Rattle lying around. But if you're in the market for new Mahler, you won't be sorry.5
Mahler: Symphony No. 2 in C minor 'Resurrection'

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

4.5
Error You can't add more than 500 quantity.
Regular price
€49,00
Sale price
€49,00
Regular price
€80,00
Sold out
Unit price
per 
Save 39% (€31,00)