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Mahler: Symphony No.2 (Live 1965)


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Jan. 1 2004)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Testament
  • ASIN: B0000BZYRI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #166,689 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. I Allegro Maestoso
Disc: 2
1. II Andante Moderato
2. III In Ruhig FlieBender Bewegung
3. IV Urlicht. Sehr Feierlich, Aber Schlicht
4. V Im Tempo Des Scherzo. Wild Herausfahrend - Langsam - Allegro Energico - Langsam

Product Description

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
5 star
2
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Most helpful customer reviews

This is a great performance of Mahler's' Second Symphony without doubt . Further proof , if it were needed , of just what a great Mahler Conducter Sir John Barbirolli was .
It is difficult today for us to imagine just what an event a concert such as this represented . Barbirolli was at least as important a figure as Klemperer , Walther and Bernstein in the Mahler revival.
I only give this performance three stars because the sound is Mono . This is disappointing not least because Testament give all the details of the performance and the date of the recording but only indicate the Mono sound in tiny letters on the back of the CD . It is not , I feel , unrealistic to expect a recording made in 1965 to be in Stereo (the recorded sound would be no more than adequate had it been made 10 years earlier)
What I find very irritating is that on Testament's own Website details of all their recordings are given but nowhere does it say that this release is Mono. Dates are given and written accross the front of the discs but unless you are able to pick up the CD in the shop (and are Eagle eyed) you won't spot the Mono caveat. I can't help feeling that this is a deliberate decision by Tesatament and feel both cheated and deceived.
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By gtra1n on Feb. 12 2004
A great performance of the Mahler 2, really exquisite. Exceptionally musical, beautifully played, expertly shaped over the entire course by Sir John, it is expressive without exaggeration throughout. This is especially exemplified by the singing of Dame Janet Baker, her voice comfortably upfront without special highlighting, and sounding more beautiful than I can recall hearing on record.
The recording is from a radio broadcast of a concert, the performance was not intended for recording and release. It is in mono, clear and full. There is tape hiss, by necessity, and minimal crowd noise, neither of which are distracting. Testament is a label dedicated to re-issuing recordings of importance made prior to the era of modern stereo recordings. If hi-fi is your fetish, if your primary concern is sound quality, this CD will not please you. If, however, you care about music in general and Mahler in particular, this is absolutely wonderful.
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By A Customer on June 22 2004
There is no one definitive Mahler Symphony recording, save the piano rolls of the first movement of the fifth and the last movement of the fourth. Rather than focusing on what is right in Mahler, one usually has to focus on what they like (to an extent). This one with Barbirolli is exceptional. The music is lush and played well, wonderful phrasing, and its not too sluggish as Sir John can at times be, ever so slightly. The soloists are wonderful, as is the glowing finale as a whole. There is only one complaint with this CD - the sound. It's mono, but I have to say, not that bad, to me. I have heard much worse, and for radio, I'd say this wasn't too bad at all. If you immerse yourself enough though, I find it easy to forget the limitations and just enjoy the music. So, 5 stars for music, and 2 and a half for sound - but the music is MUCH more important.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
A GOOD MAHLER 2, BUT STUTTGART WAS BETTER Sept. 13 2005
By Klingsor Tristan - Published on Amazon.com
This is a good performance of Mahler's 2nd from Barbirolli, despite some dodgy ensemble and the odd cracked note from the Berliners who were not as familiar with Mahler's music in those days as you'd think. (Who was?) The characteristics you'd expect from Barbirolli are all here - the passion, the swooping portamenti from the strings, the sweep of big melodies like the 1st movement's second subject. You get Janet Baker in Urlicht, too, and very fine she is - but so she was on many other recordings of this symphony round that time, not least the Stokowski Prom on BBC Legends.

However, one almost wonders if Barbirolli moderated his performance to accommodate the orchestra's relative unfamiliarity with the work. The very first bars are full of high drama - a very long pause between the eruptions of the basses below the tremolo upper strings that really keeps one on the edge of one's seat. Yet the overall impression of the whole performance is a little underwhelming. Good, but not great.

This is all said in comparison with a much better Barbirolli performance, much better recorded, with Stuttgart forces. This is available on more than one label. The best I've heard is part of an excellent 2-disc concert on EMI's Great Conductors of the 20th Century series. If you want to listen to Barbirolli's Mahler 2 (and you should), that's where to go.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
The heights Feb. 12 2004
By gtra1n - Published on Amazon.com
A great performance of the Mahler 2, really exquisite. Exceptionally musical, beautifully played, expertly shaped over the entire course by Sir John, it is expressive without exaggeration throughout. This is especially exemplified by the singing of Dame Janet Baker, her voice comfortably upfront without special highlighting, and sounding more beautiful than I can recall hearing on record.
The recording is from a radio broadcast of a concert, the performance was not intended for recording and release. It is in mono, clear and full. There is tape hiss, by necessity, and minimal crowd noise, neither of which are distracting. Testament is a label dedicated to re-issuing recordings of importance made prior to the era of modern stereo recordings. If hi-fi is your fetish, if your primary concern is sound quality, this CD will not please you. If, however, you care about music in general and Mahler in particular, this is absolutely wonderful.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
One of the Top Mahler 2nds June 22 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
There is no one definitive Mahler Symphony recording, save the piano rolls of the first movement of the fifth and the last movement of the fourth. Rather than focusing on what is right in Mahler, one usually has to focus on what they like (to an extent). This one with Barbirolli is exceptional. The music is lush and played well, wonderful phrasing, and its not too sluggish as Sir John can at times be, ever so slightly. The soloists are wonderful, as is the glowing finale as a whole. There is only one complaint with this CD - the sound. It's mono, but I have to say, not that bad, to me. I have heard much worse, and for radio, I'd say this wasn't too bad at all. If you immerse yourself enough though, I find it easy to forget the limitations and just enjoy the music. So, 5 stars for music, and 2 and a half for sound - but the music is MUCH more important.
5 of 13 people found the following review helpful
A truly great performance spoiled by Mono Sound Jan. 13 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This is a great performance of Mahler's' Second Symphony without doubt . Further proof , if it were needed , of just what a great Mahler Conducter Sir John Barbirolli was .
It is difficult today for us to imagine just what an event a concert such as this represented . Barbirolli was at least as important a figure as Klemperer , Walther and Bernstein in the Mahler revival.
I only give this performance three stars because the sound is Mono . This is disappointing not least because Testament give all the details of the performance and the date of the recording but only indicate the Mono sound in tiny letters on the back of the CD . It is not , I feel , unrealistic to expect a recording made in 1965 to be in Stereo (the recorded sound would be no more than adequate had it been made 10 years earlier)
What I find very irritating is that on Testament's own Website details of all their recordings are given but nowhere does it say that this release is Mono. Dates are given and written accross the front of the discs but unless you are able to pick up the CD in the shop (and are Eagle eyed) you won't spot the Mono caveat. I can't help feeling that this is a deliberate decision by Tesatament and feel both cheated and deceived.


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