I like this DVD of Boulez's *live* M2 "Resurrection" much, MUCH more than his DG studio recording. In short, it has everything that's missing in the studio recording. Starting from the rear, Boulez conducts - and gets! - a real crescendo from the timpani on the very last chord of the symphony. On the DG recording, there's virtually no crescendo on the last chord (go figure!). There's almost zero organ on the DG recording, regardless of what stereo I play it on. While not huge sounding, there's sufficient organ on this live performance. At the end of the symphony, the low gong is great, but the high gong is almost inaudible - this much is truly better on the DG recording. However, you gain an organ here, and I'll gladly live with that trade-off. The deep bells are also really good on this live one.
While Petra Lang doesn't possess a paricularly beautiful sounding vocal instrumental, she certainly knows how to use what she's got (she'd make a great Erde). I find her more involved sounding than Michelle De Young. Also, the mezzo and soprano match each other perfectly here - they really work together. The chorus is excellent on this live performance. All of the offstage brass stuff is perfectly audible and well coordinated. The scherzo has an almost tangible sense of irony and humor (ironic humor, anyone?) that's simply missing on the Vienna recording. There's no underlying sense that everybody is just skating along. Last but not least, the main climaxes to the first and third movements are far more gripping and powerful on this live perfomance. From beginning to end, the committment and execution of the Staatskapelle Berlin is second to none. This was one hell of a great concert. If you're a fan of Boulez, or just a fan of Mahler's "Resurrection" symphony in general - either way, add this one to your collection.