Okay - you're a Mahlerian and something of a collector. You own three or four recorded performances of the Second Symphony, all modern or even recent, all spectacularly faithful to the vast dynamic range and timbral complexity produced by the composer's massive forces. Why should you be interested in an antiquated recording in early 1950s monophonic sound out of the dusty old Vox catalogue? Here are a couple of reasons: It's Otto Klemperer, recovered from the ailments and manias that drove him from paradisiacal Los Angeles, and he presides over Viennese players quite a few of whom had played Mahler regularly before the 1938 Anschluss with Nazi Germany and the subsequent ban on Mahler's music. Klemperer actually worked under Mahler, leading the offstage brass band in a 1904 performance of the Second Symphony and earning a kudos from the composer. In 1951, in Vienna, Klemperer delivered a no-nonsense, highly dramatic account of this most pictorial of Mahler's symphonies. He imposes swift tempi on the "Totenfeier" and marks its rhythms in a particularly effective way; never does he allow the forward motion to subside, not even in the delicate, extended second subject. Again in the Scherzo, Klemperer propels the music, emphasizing the obsessive character of the moto-perpetuo triple-rhythm. He makes of the long Finale a truly apocalyptic tableau, beginning with the thunderous opening rush, reminiscent of the opening of the "Totenfeier." As a performance, this is superior to the 1962 remake, in stereo, with the New Philharmonia Orchestra. A word on the recording: Although the sound is monaural, the engineers capture a startling array of instrumental detail; the offstage band really sounds as if in the distance; the chorus and orchestra mix without blurring into a welter of congested noise. Listen to the male voices at the choral entry! Vox unites the "Resurrection" with a "Lied von der Erde" of similar vintage and of equal interest. Oskar Fried's acoustic "Resurrection," from 1922, is the oldest recording of this score, but there were none other until the early fifties, making this Klemperer essay "one of the first." The excellent notes, in a handsome booklet, include the texts for both the "Resurrection" and "Das Lied." Before there was Naxos, there was Vox. The two discs cost about ten dollars. It's an excellent buy.