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Mahler: Symphony No. 2 [Hybrid SACD, SACD]

Gustav Mahler , Benjamin Zander , Philharmonia Orchestra and Chorus , Sarah Connolly , Miah Persson Audio CD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 15.02 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Mahler: Symphony No. 2 + Mozart: Piano Concerto No.25 In C Major K.503;  Piano Concerto No.20 In D Minor K.466
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Product details

  • Performer: Sarah Connolly, Miah Persson
  • Orchestra: Philharmonia Orchestra and Chorus
  • Conductor: Benjamin Zander
  • Composer: Gustav Mahler
  • Audio CD (21 Oct 2013)
  • Please Note: Requires SACD-compatible hardware
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Hybrid SACD, SACD
  • Label: Linn Records
  • ASIN: B00CY0980C
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 66,591 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Disc 1:

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Symphony No. 2 in c minor 'Resurrection' - Allegro Maestoso22:40Album Only

Disc 2:

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Symphony No. 2 in c minor 'Resurrection' - Andante Moderato10:06Album Only
Listen  2. Symphony No. 2 in c minor 'Resurrection' - In ruhig fliessender Bewegung12:44Album Only
Listen  3. Symphony No. 2 in c minor 'Resurrection' - Urlicht 5:47Album Only
Listen  4. Symphony No. 2 in c minor 'Resurrection' - Im Tempo des Scherzos38:57Album Only

Product Description

Product Description

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).

About the Artist

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.

Customer Reviews

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3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime interpretation 25 Sep 2013
Format:MP3 Download|Verified Purchase
Zander is said to be the master of Mahler and he certainly shows that in this sublime new recording of the Resurrection. Restrained, powerful, emotional performance by the Philharmonia Orchestra, soloists (Sarah Connolly and Miah Persson) and the Philharmonia Chorus. Excellent.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mahler's music. 15 May 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I loved it. Mahler's music must be my favourite it touches my soul. I also like Sarah Connolly's voice
and the two combined are lovely.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Inaudible 29 Jan 2014
By fran
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Mahler 2 is one of my favourites, I have heard it live many times and have several recordings, my favourite being Otto Klemperer, with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf. There is nothing wrong with my hearing or my equipment, by this version is totally let down by the technical guys. The sound throughout is thin and strained and the volume range is far too great -either you choose to hear the quiet passages and then get your head blown off later on or opt for long pauses of apparent silence followed by comfortable listening in the loud parts. This is a shame as the performance itself is great, but half the orchestra is inaudible. Sarah Connolly is amazing as ever and fortunately the sound level in Urlicht does not vary too much. I wonder if I have got a rogue CD as I cannot believe it could have been marketed like this. I shall send it back to Linn Records for their comments
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zander's Resurrection: This Time It's Personal 9 Nov 2013
By Eddie Corbett - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Zander loves this symphony so much he decided to withhold his 2009 recording for Telarc, and eventually got the same forces to re-record it for Linn in early 2012, which has got to be the biggest project that small British company has ever undertaken. And pity poor Telarc for his perfectionism and self-doubt. I received the set from a UK retailer yesterday, November 7th, 2103. On Linn's website, Zander explains some of the reasons for his painful decision on 106 minutes of commentary, readily available as a download. Most critically, he was unhappy with the excessive speed at which he took the opening movement, and rethought it, not without experiencing the same kind of "crisis" he describes Mahler undergoing while he was composing the score (which Zander also details in his totally compelling commentary). The wait for all of us Zanderites has most certainly been worth it. The recording, with the same two producers who have consistently worked on the Telarc recordings, is absolutely staggering, and I am just talking about listening to it on a conventional set-up without SACD. Zander promises listeners who have the full capability to play it on Multi-Channel stereo that they will be blown away.
Now to the performance: the first thing you notice is that the total time is 90 minutes, almost 18 minutes slower than Klemperer '51, and 11 minutes slower than Klemperer '62 (and Klemperer is the conductor Zander invokes more often than any other in his commentary). He's four mintues slower than Rattle '86, which was reckoned, at the time, to be monumentally slow. At first glance, Zander is approaching the kind of tempi achieved by Scherchen '58 (93 minutes). And yet, unlike the barely controlled disarray of that performance (which I happen to love) everything Zander does feels right. It's apparent that Zander wants to caress details, and he does, (and the recording enables you to hear him do it with total clarity) but not at the expense of keeping the whole structure in mind. The scherzo is a good example to focus on: it's almost 12 minutes in length, but it doesn't feel slow, just fantastically menacing and spooky. He also makes the Klezmer(ish) apects of the wind writing beautifully apparent; more so than most conductors. There is abundant rubato, which derives from re-thinking the whole work in more historical terms, aligning his thoughts about the Second the most closely with Beethoven and the early recorded perfomance by Oskar Fried. The final movement clocks in at almost 39 minutes, about a minute longer than Tennstedt '89 (live); but it feels much more protracted, with many passages requiring the listener to go willingly into a state of suspended animation for the performance of the Last Judgment to have the effect Zander desires. The soloists and choir acquit themselves very well. And the orchestra is attuned to everything he wants them to do for him, after more than a decade of his association with them.
There's no need to hesitate to purchase if you like this conductor and his way with Mahler. There's no sense of routine or corporate imperative here, which in this day and age, is something special indeed. Probably not a first choice for a lone Mahler 2 for your collection, but then, no single recorded performance is, or can be.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars *** 1/2 Despite nice touches from Zander and impressive sonics, overall the interpretation is fairly ordinary 13 Nov 2013
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I felt bad when Zander's Telarc Mahler cycle was aborted before it concluded, so it's good to know that the decision rested with Zander himself. I've heard his Mahler in boston with his own Boston Phil., and in concert the interpretations are strong and heartfelt. But the Telarc recordings didn't live up to his marvelous lectures, seeming at various points indifferent, lightweight, and lacking in force. That holds true here, too, so I'm not sure he deserves credit for leaving his former label holding a very expensive bag when Zander didn't approve the first Mahler Second with the same orchestra.

Formerly, the scuttlebut was that the Philharmonia didn't take to Zander's garrulous rehearsal style - professionals loathe being lectured to, unlike his pro-am boston orchestra, who adore him. There was also the question of inadequate rehearsal time; Zander's recording sessions were a fly-in and get the job done affair. Whatever the truth, there are long stretches of noncommittal playing here. The philharmonia is a premier London ensemble, playing under their music director, Esa-Pekka Salonen, at an even higher level than when Zander first led them. One can easily hear that despite their skills, they are mostly coasting here.

The first movement begins with surprisingly brisk and shallow attacks form the cellos and double basses. as heard in two-channel stereo, Linn's sonics are detailed but not warm or deep. No doubt different audio systems will produce different results. The first movement proceeds with an uncomfortable relation between loud exuberance, somewhat arbitrary tempo choices, and periods of under-inflected music-making. But ensemble is unimpeachable throughout, and whatever you may think of Zander's ideas, he's not simply waving a stick.

The minuet-like second movement is very freely phrased, with stop-and-go impulses within individual bars. Is this Zander's version of echt viennese style or his idea of a parody? His fans may well appreciate his original touch. The passionate interjections in this movement are well handled and played. In the Scherzo Zander grasps that Mahler based the music on a humorous Wunderhorn song, not a solemn one, and his handling is pointed and eft. This is the best movement so far. In the short "Urlicht" song, also from the world of Des Knaben Wunderhorn, the admired mezzo Sarah Connolly, who makes a strong positive impression in a recent release of Das Lied von der Erde, is challenged by Zander's very slow pace to make meaningful phrases. She is quite successful, musical, and moving. Her singing is a high point in this performance.

But the Mahler Second stands or falls on the immense build-up in the second half, where the composer's monumental conception leads to rapturous transcendence. The many episodes along the way are hard to unify; Leonard Bernstein's first recording with the NY Phil., on Sony, presents the ideal. Happily for Zander, this is where Linn's sonics come into their own, giving us demonstration-quality examples of massed brass playing from the outset. At full volume the impact of the percussion is nearly terrifying. On the downside, Zander tends to lose tension at the slow tempos he chooses, letting the line sag a bit. He seems to be attacking the score one episode at a time. That each episode works on its own isn't the same as building a whole cathedral.

As you'd expect from one of Europe's best choruses, the choral contribution from breathless hush to commanding oration is beautiful, and beautifully captured on disc. Zander luxuriates in the sound, perhaps too much at such a slow tempo. Swedish lyric soprano Miah Persson isn't allowed to appear magically out of the choral sound because she is so closely miked, but her singing is as accomplished and musical as Connolly's - I can't imagine what another reviewer is complaining about. At a certain point Zander begins to noticeably drag the pace. I found my attention wandering. The climactic peroration will satisfy audiophiles through its clarity and visceral impact, but we are getting to Heaven on a slow boat.

In the end, there are too many great "Resurrection" symphonies on disc for Zander to compete with. Leaving aside the grand old ones, the past few years have seen sterling examples from Paavo Jarvi, Vladimir Jurowski, and a previously unreleased Tennstedt concert version that outstrip this new one by a considerable distance.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars Are Not Enough 4 April 2014
By Jonathan Goldberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I have lived with this symphony for over forty years. I own all the recordings mentioned in other reviews and more, including such canonical figures as Bernstein, Walter, and Klemperer, and Abbado as well as newer efforts like Fischer and Jurowski (over twenty total). I like them all. I would not have believed that another traversal could make so overwhelming an impression in such a distinguished field; but it does.

I was amazed at the timings when I checked them after listening. Although Zander's are often among the slowest it never sounds that way; everything just sounds right. As to why that is so, Zander's own explanations are so much better than I could do that any effort I made would be otiose. (My set did include a third disk with his discussion of the music. This discussion is also available for download, as others have noted.) If you wish an extended analysis listen to his.

For me, if you were to have only one recording of the Resurrection this is it. Whatever quibbles might be made about individual passages fade into insignificance. Start here and explore.
5.0 out of 5 stars Zander resurected Mahler ! 4 Jan 2014
By Joel Kahana - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
As an advocate of Zander interpretation to Mahler simphonies, this is the hallmark of his work .Something played heavenly by the Philharmonia Orchestra coupled by the female solists and the chorus. I remaind breathless after hearing this recording.
Sound by Linn's labs is rich and warm even by simple CD player .Grab it in both hands and add to your Mahler collection . A real pleasure !
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 26 Aug 2014
By glamkismet - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Love Zander.
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