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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding performance of Mahler's 2nd symphony from May 18, 2011, 6 Sep 2011
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This review is from: Mahler Symphony No.2 [Blu-ray] [2011] (Blu-ray)
Although this Blu-ray has not been released yet, I know it will be outstanding. Why? Well, first of all, I was at the exact concert in Leipzig where this Blu-ray was recorded, on May 18, 2011. Mahler's 2nd symphony was performed twice during this year's Mahler Festival in Leipzig, but this performance is from the 2nd night (May 18). You can tell by the audience shots because it was fuller on the 2nd night.

The performance was totally magnificient. Unbelievable. It was also shown on Arte TV later in May 2011, and I have parts of it recorded on my HDD recorder, and it is truly amazing (also the sound and the camera work). I am sure the Blu-ray (1080p) will be at least as good compared to what they showed on HD TV (720p).

There will also be a release from the same festival for Mahler's 8th symphony, and that performance is also very good (it was also shown on Arte TV). Unfortunately, I am not such a big fan of his 8th symphony, I like all others better.

I can't wait to receive this Blu-ray of Mahler 2 to give it a full and proper review.

Update Oct. 4, 2011:

I received the Blu-ray disc today, and the quality is totally amazing (picture and sound). I already mentioned how much I like this performance, it is really worth seeing. I also have Abbado's Mahler 2 from Lucerne on Blu-ray (the revised version with the improved sonics), and that one is also very very good. Can't really say which one is the better performance, since both are really great. Technically, the Chailly disc is superior (picture quality, dynamics in sound).

I am not a big fan of the cardboard packaging used on this release. Maybe it is more environmentally friendly, but I prefer my Blu-ray discs in the blue Amaray cases, since all my other Blu-ray's are like that.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine alternative to Abbado - both revelatory experiences, 9 Oct 2011
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I. Giles (Argyll, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mahler Symphony No.2 [Blu-ray] [2011] (Blu-ray)
I bought this as a second, and alternative, Blu-ray version having already got the re-processed Abbado version which is excellent in every way now that the earlier sound problems have been addressed.

The first thing to state unequivocally is that both the performances as conducted by Abbado and by Chailly are equally fine in concept and delivery. They also share orchestras that are well able to fulfil every demand made of them by both Mahler and their respective conductors.

The interpretations are, of course, different in their intention and execution.

As a guide it is perhaps relevant to observe that the layout of each orchestra is somewhat different and perhaps a visual example/demonstration of the overall interpretive difference. The Abbado orchestra is spaciously spread over a large area with lots of working space for the players and this is very much the concept of the interpretation. By contrast the Chailly version has a much tighter and more traditional layout which again reflects that interpretation. The soloists in both versions are equally fine.

I found the Chailly version compelling, exciting and totally satisfying in what could be loosely described as in the traditional way whereas I found the Abbado version more overtly emotionally uplifting as a concept. The Chailly version could therefore be described as perhaps more of an outstanding main-stream view and the Abbado version more of a personal vision. Both are compelling.

On more mundane matters however, there can be little doubt that the Chailly issue has the advantage as a recording. The imaging offers greater definition whilst being equally sympathetic to the players and the music. The sound is of demonstration quality. The Abbado, though good, is not quite of that level and this may reflect the production problems encountered, though largely resolved, during manufacture.

Mahlerites will want to own both recordings and they would be right to do so as both offer valuable and complementary insights into the music. For single purchasers the choice is more difficult but could be narrowed down to opting for either more of a personal vision as envisioned by Abbado or opting for a more traditionally outstanding interpretation as envisioned by Chailly. Both are equally excellent and certainly this performance by Chailly is worth every one of 5 stars. My personal favourite tends to be the one that I am listening to at that time!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling Mahler 2, 30 Sep 2011
By 
Charles Eccles (Bedfordshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mahler Symphony No.2 [Blu-ray] [2011] (Blu-ray)
Five stars seem hardly enough to rate the technical qualities of this disc. The picture quality is as sharp and clear as you could wish, but it is the phenomenal sound which almost beggars description. This is demonstration quality sound par excellence - a valuable plus point in a recording of this work. Abbado's 2003 Lucerne performance sounds spectacular, and still holds its own sonically against its rivals, but the improvements in recording technology over the intervening period have been exploited to astonishing effect on this disc.
But what of the performance itself?
Chailly uses a larger choir than Abbado, and the choral singing is as good as on the Abbado disc, but whereas Chailly's choir look like any choir one might see at a concert, Abbado's singers are dressed in monk-like robes and are more rigid and austere in their movements, adding to the almost religious feel of his performance.
The soloists on the Chailly disc adopt a more dramatic style than those on the Abbado disc, which suits Chailly's dramatic interpretation. In contrast, Abbado's soloists are more ethereal, stressing beauty over drama. For example, at the end of the first and second verses of the Aufersteh'n hymn, the voice of Abbado's soprano (Eteri Gvazava) soars effortlessly out of the choral background, whereas Christiane Oeize's entrance on the Chailly disc is much more evident and emphatic.
Chailly pauses (and moves off the podium) at the end of the first movement, in line with Mahler's instructions - it is at this point that the two soloists come onstage.
In the first three movements there is little to chose between Chailly and Abbado. Sarah Connolly(Chailly) and Anna Larsson (Abbado) are both good in the brief "Urlicht" movement, Larsson adopting a slightly more tender delivery.
The start of the last movement is almost literally shattering in the Chailly performance, more effective than in the Abbado performance not least because of the sound quality on the Chailly disc. From here on however I feel that Abbado captures more magic in the music as the "redemption" themes are introduced - he molds the phrases more than Chailly, whose approach to the music is a little more straightforward. This difference is enhanced by the filming: in the Abbado there are consciously constructed fade shots and soft focus effects at key points in the music (when the offstage brass first make their entry, for example) which suit Abbado's more spiritual interpretation. The camera work in the Chailly is more straightforward - this is a record of a concert performance.
Again, the state of the art sound enhances Chailly's ending of the symphony, but (that apart) there is little to choose here between Chailly and Abbado, with the latter perhaps conveying a little more "release of joy" at the very end.

The Chailly performance is magnificent by any standard (and unmatched in sound quality). Its obvious rival on disc is the Abbado Lucerne performance - also magnificent. Buy both, for their different approaches to the symphony. When you want to be thrilled go with Chailly, but when you want to be moved choose Abbado.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mangificent Mahler, 8 Dec 2012
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Simply magnificent. Would recommend to all Mahler lovers. It made me see thsi symphony for the great early work it wis
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not as Abbado's Mahler 2 from Lucerne, 6 Oct 2011
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A. Refael (Haifa , Israel) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mahler Symphony No.2 [Blu-ray] [2011] (Blu-ray)
The performance is very good, but not good as Abbado's Mahler 2 from Lucerne festival.
The level of the audio, to my opinion, is a little bit low an is less impressive comparing Abbado's Mahler.
One more irritating point- there is no resume.When you stop it goes to the beginning - it is a pity.
In spite of the above,it is a very good bluray.
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Mahler Symphony No.2 [Blu-ray] [2011]
Mahler Symphony No.2 [Blu-ray] [2011] by Riccardo Chailly (Blu-ray - 2011)
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