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4.4 out of 5 stars12
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 1 July 2011
When I was at Music College our top London orchestra was the LPO, it always seemed to have more fire in its belly. But that was 25 years ago! More recently it saw a bit of a lull in fortunes but now everyone is saying "Jurowski this" and "Jurowski that". How I didn't want to be taken in by the hype! How I wanted to see through it and review this live concert recording as just another mediocre version. But try as I might, the truth is the truth, and the truth is that this is one of the few versions that really are as good as folk say they are. Only this and Boulez with VPO have caused me to be late to meetings because I just HAD to hear them through to the end.

Recording quality is faultless, just the right balance in the new RFH acoustics. You will only realise it is a live recording once or twice when large guy in front row coughs, oh and at the end as (probably the same) large guy bellows 'Bravo".

Performance is sublime, in any dynamic, or any tempo there is total control from every part of the orchestra. A full clear, sensitive sound that shines and sparkles only when needed.

Jurowski takes Mahler at his word and plays the tempi, the rubato, the dynamics as the piece speaks to him. If you have heard lots of 2's you will know that some conductors turn the piece into a caricature. This interpretation shows them up as wearing the Emperor's New Clothes. Here the music speaks for itself and you end up realising that just as a symphonic work it actually MEANS something again. I suspect it means what Mahler meant because it is all so natural and obvious, but regardless of Mahlerian authenticity you will feel better for hearing it and worse if you ignore my zealous comments and don't!
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on 5 June 2014
This is a glorious performance of the Resurrection symphony, one of the best performances that I have heard in recent years. It is a live recording and I am sure those who were lucky enough to be in the Royal Festival Hall that evening had an unforgettable musical experience. Tempos are just right, phrasing beyond reproach, the soloists and the choir excellent, the orchestral playing magnificent. Vladimir Jurowski has made some excellent recordings with the London Philharmonic and this rendition of Mahler 2 probably tops the list. Well, is it the best available recording? Probably not. There are some other great recordings of this monumental work in the catalogue which are just as good, if not better. Take for instance Abbado's recording with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra or Klaus Tennstedt's legendary recording with the London Philharmonic or Ivan Fischer's award winning recording with the Budapest Festival Orchestra. Even if you have those recordings however, don't hesitate to add Jurowski's version to your collection. You will not be disappointed.
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on 21 April 2012
A superb recording of Mahlers 2nd symphony. All the qualities that make this symphony so special are captured here on this excellent live recording (thats how i hear it anyway!). The world class LPO and choir sound 1st rate and listening to this cd is magical and uplifting. Don't hesitate in buying this cd like i did, pleasure has no price so buy it, listen, hear, feel and enjoy the master that is Mahler - if you decide to buy this i hope it gives you as much audio pleasure as it has to me. Recommended
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on 23 July 2011
What a pity the star rating is pulled down by one bizarre comment....it is certainly not a review. We are all entitled to our opinions; but wrongheaded ones need to be challenged.

I very much agree with the highly favourable comments of all of the reviewers.

I know this best of all Mahler's symphonies and yet, it felt fresh and often raised goosebumps. There is a great deal of almost gossamer delicacy and elbow room without a moment of dragging. Overall the timing means it has to go onto two discs. But mere timings can be deceptive.

I love the rubato and the portamanto, neither of which sound like indulgences. The big moments are not underplayed. It feels organic rather than containing hysterical gear changes.

The orchestra sound is terrific and the recording is close in without undue highlighting of individual players.

The landler in the second movement is delicate rather than rustic. The dialogue of plucked strings quite playful. The third movement points and lifts the rhythms and the momentry drama towards the end of the movement comes through and makes its mark and the last two minutes shift like a mirage from playful to forboding.

I could go on. But really, I feel this is worth getting hold of, even if like me you thought you really did not need yet another Mahler 2. By the way, the soloists and choir are first rate.

MDB
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on 8 October 2012
I have listened to this recording in its entirety twice (Speakers and Headphones). Several sections I have returned to check speeds and editing. As a recording it is not as good as I might have expected. The refurbished RFH seems to have reduced the 'boxiness' once a scourge in this venue, however it failed to impress. In particular the finale lacked the spirituality so important in this work. The Gramophone magazine awarded it a 'rave review' for me this was another example of inflated hype from a once great magazine now a shade of its former self!
I was somewhat puzzled by the many 'speed changes', particualrly in the outer movements. The soloists performed well and chorus and orchestra sang and played their hearts out! But there was something missing from this performance and again I have to conclude that it lacked a spiritual dimension. I am sure the conductor put a great deal of thought and effort into his interpretation. Perhaps I am still in awe of the live Tennstedt and this has introduced bias into my overall impression of the Jurowski interpretation? However listening again to the Tennstedt a couple of days after confirmed my belief that the Tennstedt is the Mahler 2 that will be difficult to surpass in all its many facets.
Having recently listened to an archived recording with Klaus Tennstedt on 'Desert Island Discs' (Ref: Desert Island Discs. BBC Radio archives) enabled me to understand more why he was one of the Great Mahler conductors.
To conclude: let your own ears and feelings be the judge of this recording, and if you have yet to hear the Tennstedt do not hesitate. Despite the interpretation and effort by Jurowski and Co the Tennstedt wins on recording, peformance, spirituality and is most defnitely 'the Mahlerian' experience.
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on 26 July 2012
This is a fine performance and interpretation, although hardly definitive. Jurowski does like to pull things about quite a bit rhymically, although to no profoundly effect spiritually. But everyone should be warned: the signal has been equalised, so that all the very soft passages are mezzo-forte and all the fortissimo passages mezzo-forte too, although intensely so. The sound will be OK on medium-quality equipment but it really fails on a very high-quality sound system -- it just never gets loud at the climaxes. And the boxy Royal Festival Hall acoustic robs all the offstage passages of a sense of celestial distance, which is what Mahler wanted. They sound muted, as though they are coming from the changing rooms, which they were (I was at the RFH concert, of which this is the recording).

Bruno Walter is hors concours, as is Klemperer, for they both heard Mahler conduct the work and helped him by directing the offstage band. For a more modern recording, Chailly and the Concertgebouw has the best celestial offstage sound, which is quite something. But who wants 'definitive"? There's no such thing, and anyway each performance should be a revelation, not an attempt to improve upon its predecessors.
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on 11 July 2011
Everything Mr Allsopp says is absolutely spot on. Fantastic performance and a must for any Mahlerian. However, DO NOT purchase from Amazon, who up up to their usual pathetic tricks, charging (at the time of writing) £23.23 - go direct to the LPO website and you get it for £10.99 (inc. FREE P&P)... which is the Recommended Retail Price.
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on 21 February 2013
One of the best recordings of this problematic work. You either love Mahler or hate him and personally I can't get enough of this rich music. The Phil does a great job here of getting the last ounce out of this work.
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on 12 July 2011
R. Millington is spot on. That's the cost to me here in Spain too. Presto Classical is also cheaper than the Amazon mp3 download price.
Update (13/07/11) - What a surprise - today's price is less than half the previous price!
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on 4 August 2011
I've never listened much to Mahler's works believing them to be long winded and boring.
However, I was prompted to buy this album after hearing the finale on Radio 3 one morning.
It is a most moving piece of music and, to my untrained ear, performed excellently.
Buy it and set aside a couple of hours to lose yourself in the performance.
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