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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
26
Mahler: Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection'
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 11 July 2017
Wow! This is a performance to rate alongside the greats such as Klemperer.
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on 17 June 2017
Completely satisfied with this recording.
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on 8 February 2013
Simon Rattle has a reputation for this piece nad this recording reflects his greatness in conducting it. My only slight hesitation is that the soprano has a degree of 'wobble' on some of the longer notes that is typical of some singers but I don't particularly like. Overall, however, it is well recorded and a very good interpretation of the piece.
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on 23 March 2012
I heard Mahler 2nd Symphony live in Berlin last february. This recording allows to share that wonderful experience. Conductor, singers, orchestra, chorus: all performers are at its best
2 people found this helpful
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 3 March 2011
I find my self surprised to be writing a review of this recording in such favourable terms, as I was never as enamoured of Rattle's CBSO recording as many, and I have been distinctly unimpressed with the majority of Rattle's Berlin output both in terms of performance and recording. In the case of the first recording, while it was very good, the critical over-hype especially here in the UK was extraordinary! I have always felt that there was an element of Dr.Johnson's dog dancing on its hind legs about the reaction, especially from those who recalled the dire, dead days of this orchestra under Hugo Rignold when standards seemed to have sunk beyond redemption! The recording was rather muddy, and both soloists were in truth past their best.
Since moving to Berlin, I feel that Rattle has too often succumbed to "Mercedes-Benz" syndrome-performances are beautifully polished, sleekly played-and rather dull. EMI has not triumphed in catching the full impact of the Berlin Philharmonic and STILL have problems with the Philharmonie's acoustic.
I have in particular found Rattle's Berlin Mahler to be particularly dull-I actually gave away my copies of 5 &10. I had not expected to like this recording either, but I was "persuaded" (bullied!) by a friend from Germany to expend the paltry sum for this recording-and I am extremely glad I did. It now joins the pantheon of my favourite "Resurrections", recordings of which I have too many to admit to. Yes, it is softer-grained than some, and if you think that this symphony should be a breakneck adrenaline rush in the manner of Solti, you are not going to like this performance. If, like me, you are looking for something more profound and sensitive, then this recording is a strong contender. Rattle's tempi are on the broader side, but well chosen and his interventionist approach ensures plenty of ebb and flow with apposite changes of tempo, and extreme gradation of dynamics. I love his use of portamento, and there is no shortage of rubato either.
I am at a loss to understand the carping about the soloists-maybe because one is Mrs Rattle?-as they sing beautifully and sensitively at all times. Chorus and orchestra are magnificent, and finally EMI have produced a wonderful sound picture, very accurately reproducing the experience of being in that hall. The climax is floor-rattling and speaker blowing-but offstage brass is a tad too offstage for my preference, though it is audible.
So, for the first time in my view, Rattle has given us a much improved performance of noble, heroic and moving proportion, and I urge you to ignore some the sideswipes that have been launched at it and hear it for yourself.
A most unexpected and welcome pleasure that I recommend unreservedly with 5 stars, a first for me where Rattle and Berlin are concerned! Stewart Crowe.
25 people found this helpful
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on 21 August 2015
I resisted buying this issue for quite some time, and I think it might have been the Amazon reviews I read that changed my mind. My initial resistance was due to several factors. Firstly, I felt it was becoming ridiculous to keep buying Mahler 2's...how could I possibly need another one? More significantly, I've been pretty disappointed with most of the Rattle/BPO/EMI recordings from the Berlin Philharmonie.....mostly on the grounds of recording quality. I just haven't liked the sound. It wasn't until I received this set that I even realised it was on the Warner Brothers label, and I haven't checked to see whether this has meant a different recording team from the usual EMI people.
I really don't feel qualified to write a review on a work like this, but I do have my likes and dislikes, and I offer them for what they're worth. I've found that recordings of Mahler 2 usually grab my attention in the first few bars, and in this case I was certainly interested! The sound was unusually fulsome, and the slow tempo suggested I was going to warm to the performance. Very briefly.....I did find the performance to my liking, and the recording is as good as I've heard. My personal preference is for slow tempi generally, although in this performance I did notice a number of instances where there were sudden tempo changes that I had not noticed in other performances (and I don't have the expertise to comment on their technical validity). Unlike the LPO/Jurovski recording, the dynamic range is excellent....no sign of any compression, so that the big climaxes are allowed to unfold unrestricted. (....and incidentally, performance-wise, I'd characterise the new Rattle version as the complete antithesis of the Jurovski). The closing pages of the work are presented as I've never before heard except in the concert hall. I had hitherto concluded that my two preferred recordings were Bernstein/DG and Tennstedt/LPO (live), (although the recording quality of the latter does leave something to be desired). Nevertheless, it speaks volumes of the Tennstedt performance that the recording quality fades as an issue once you've succumbed to the magic of it. This new Rattle issue now joins these two as my top picks. The recording conveys a true concert-hall experience, with only one disadvantage. The soloists are (for my taste) too distant-sounding. I suspect they were co-located with the choruses rather than front of platform, and the recording leaves them there without any apparent attempt to spotlight them. This is often the concert-hall experience, and either case can be justifiably argued. Personally, I think a degree of highlighting would have helped, without necessarily going for the out-of-fashion close-miking of the Decca/Sonic-Stage variety.
In summary, unlike a vast array of other Mahler 2 discs accumulating on my shelves, this one will be played! I suspect it might eventually firm as my all-time favourite, but only time will tell. I'm very pleased I bought it.
4 people found this helpful
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on 11 January 2016
This is one of my few top pieces for the title 'most wonderful pieces of music ever composed.' I've seen Rattle and others conduct it, heard several versions [his and others'] and this version is just excellent, giving full rein to the whole gamut of emotion and musicality of a most amazing work. His tempi are sometimes slower than other peoples' but always deliberate, never ploddy or boring. Just sit back and allow Rattle to take you on the journey through this piece and you'll not be disappointed, I'm sure.
One person found this helpful
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on 10 September 2014
Brilliant performance !
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on 28 August 2014
I am too biased towards both this symphony and this orchestra and conductor to give an objective opinion. Just to say I am blown over by it.
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on 29 September 2015
Wonderful music wonderfully played, I have already listened to it many times.
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