Symphony No. 2 Resurrection
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|1. Symphony No.2 In C Minor, 'Resurrection' - Allegro Maestoso: Mit Durchaus Ernstem Und Feierlichem Ausdruck - G. Mahler|
|2. Symphony No.2 In C Minor, 'Resurrection' - Allegro Maestoso: Sehr Massig Und Zuruckhaltend - G. Mahler|
|3. Symphony No.2 In C Minor, 'Resurrection' - Allegro Maestoso: Schnell - G. Mahler|
|4. Symphony No.2 In C Minor, 'Resurrection' - Allegro Maestoso: Tempo I - G. Mahler|
|5. Symphony No.2 In C Minor, 'Resurrection' - Allegro Maestoso: Tempo Sostenuto - G. Mahler|
|6. Symphony No. 2 In C Minor, 'Resurrection' - Andante Moderato: Sehr Gemachlich|
|7. Symphony No. 2 In C Minor, 'Resurrection' - Andante Moderato: Nicht Eilen. Sehr Gemachlich|
|8. Symphony No. 2 In C Minor, 'Resurrection' - Andante Moderato: In Tempo l. Zuruckkehren|
|9. Symphony No. 2 In C Minor, 'Resurrection' - Andante Moderato: Energisch Bewegt|
|10. Symphony No. 2 In C Minor, 'Resurrection' - Andante Moderato: Wieder In's Tempo Zuruckgehen. Tempo l|
|11. Symphony No. 2 In C Minor, 'Resurrection' - (Scherzo) In Ruhig Fliessender Bewegung: In Ruhig Fliessender Bewegung|
|12. Symphony No. 2 In C Minor, 'Resurrection' - (Scherzo) In Ruhig Fliessender Bewegung: Sehr Getragen Und Gesangvoll|
|13. Symphony No. 2 In C Minor, 'Resurrection' - (Scherzo) In Ruhig Fliessender Bewegung: Zum Tempo l. Zuruckkehren|
|14. 'Urlicht' Sehr Feierlich, Aber Schlicht 'O Roschen Roth' - Alto Soprano|
|15. Symphony No. 2 In C Minor, 'Resurrection' - Im Tempo Des Scherzo: Im Tempo Des Scherzo's. Wild Herausfahrend|
|16. Symphony No. 2 In C Minor, 'Resurrection' - Im Tempo Des Scherzo: Langsam|
|17. Symphony No. 2 In C Minor,'Resurrection' - Im Tempo Des Scherzo: Im Anfang Sehr Zuruckgehalten|
|18. Symphony No. 2 In C Minor, 'Resurrection' - Im Tempo Des Scherzo: Wieder Sehr Breit|
|19. Symphony No. 2 In C Minor, 'Resurrection' - Im Tempo Des Scherzo: Molto Ritenuto. Maestoso|
|20. Symphony No. 2 In C Minor,'Resurrection' -Im Tempo Des Scherzo: Wieder Zuruckhaltend|
See all 25 tracks on this disc
This is a very fine, marvellously recorded "Resurrection" symphony with bags to commend it, even if it fails quite to match market-leaders such asRattle and Haitink. This massive musical essay on life and death, love and redemption lends itself well to the idea of being recorded in concert, but this performance is a strange phenomenon. Yes, it was recorded live (in Dallas)--but on no fewer than four successive days and then pieced together into the finished item. The result is in fact more akin to an immaculately prepared studio recording--there is not quite the evidence of the type of risk-taking you would expect in front of a live audience and which can make or break a Mahler performance. There are thrilling, gripping and tenderly touching moments, but many will miss here and there the pointing-up of the manic, melancholic, melodramatic sides to Mahler. At times Litton's control and breadth work well but elsewhere they seem a hindrance. Still, this is a substantial achievement, blessed with spacious and yet detailed sound that is as impressive as the sleeve note on the so-called "virtual reality recording" process suggests. --Andrew Green
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I have to say that this by far the most realistic, best sounding Mahler 2nd CD that I've heard. I heard it performed in Carnegie Hall and this comes the closest to that sound. It seems Litton is an audiophile and tried to make sure the engineers captured what he was hearing.
The Mehta/Vienna from 1975 is still my favorite performance overall, but its recorded sound absolutely pales in comparison to this monster. Play it real loud!
Litton treats this final movement with a more reverential touch than most conductors--who tend to approach it as typical Sturm und Drang German music, even in the quiet sections. Litton's approach reminds us that this is a deeply spiritual composition, perhaps the most profoundly spiritual music ever written. It's mighty climax should inspire awe, not fear; transcendence, not military triumph. Litton's slower-than-usual tempos do not dampen the proceedings; rather, they add to the sense of majesty that is the point of the piece. The dynamic swings, both in terms of volume and feeling, are tremendous, and they shift very quickly, yet never seem out of control. The power of the last three or four minutes is utterly remarkable--the most shattering experience I think I've ever had listening to music. The musicians play with real feeling, and the chorus sings like their lives depend on it (which is exactly approapriate for this work).
The recording is a technical wonder in its own right. Every instrument is distinct, making the various lines much easier to follow, yet all these parts are tied together in a cohesive whole. The timbre is perfect, too, top to bottom. The chorus is smooth as butter and the strings are sweet and full-bodied. There is no hard edge anywhere--and listening to this recording will make you realize how nasty most CDs are--yet the whole thing is marvelously clear. Delos makes much of the spacial qualities of the recording, which are definitely impressive, but the real star of the show in my opinion is the quality of the instruments and voices.
If you love this symphony, this version will be a very worthwhile addition to your collection, and if you've never heard it, this is fine place to start. But be prepared: You'll need the biggest and best stereo you can find, wait until your family and neighbors aren't home, then turn it up to lease-breaking volume and keep a box of tissues next to your chair.
I came across this recording a while before Litton's farewell concert and while nothing can compare to seeing and hearing it live and in such a truly special setting, this particular recording is among my favorites.
Some may find a few tempos here and there a bit slow, but they are quite effective as they are never stagnant and lacking direction. The hushed reverence of the beautiful chorus entrance is very effectively delivered, extremely soft and tranquil yet very crisp. I am also a huge fan of the DSO horns and they definitely do not disappoint here. Their ascending line into the organ entrance in the finale still gives me goosebumps every time I hear it. I could go on and on about all of the memorable moments in this recording but I do not want to give too much away!
My only complaint is that I would have preferred the bells at the end to be a bit more to the fore as you seem to get a lot of mallet noise that is about it, there is not a lot of resonance from the actual bells themselves. But this is a personal issue and a very minor one at that and by no means should discourage you from experiencing this disc. I'm sure most people won't mind it at all, assuming they even notice it in the first place.
Aside from that, the sound has stunning depth and clarity, and it handles Litton's broad dynamic range with remarkable ease. As many other reviewers have pointed out, you should not be disappointed by the sound quality on this disc. This is easily of the best sounding cd's I own.
All in all, a noteworthy disc from an incredible conductor and incredible man. Thank you Maestro Litton, your dedication and love for music is second to none.
In five movements, this CD times out at just under 83 minutes, the first and last movements being the longest. The opening movement, 23 minutes in length, often has an intermission after it. It opens with a slow and slightly menacing march. Mahler goes back and forth between the minor march and a calmer, more pastoral feel, one which Mahler is always at home with. He increases intensity and increases the beautiful calm after each climax; it ends in a scalular flourish. The second and third movements both time in at just over 10 minutes each. The former, is a stately dance, one which seems overly proper. Litton occasionally stretches the third beat, giving it an almost Viennese quality. Each time, the main theme is interrupted by a contrasting mood, but every time the main theme comes back, sometimes in pizzicato, sometimes having difficulty starting back up. The third movement is also in ¾ time, but with a scherzo feel (it almost sounds like Josef Suk's Fantastic Scherzo). The melody and harmony have a Slavic sound, especially when the clarinet states the melody. The col legno strings give a fantastical image, but the burbling and pastoral sections give great warmth. The melodies are exceedingly charming. The folksy sound elicited is nearly tongue-in-cheek, but certainly masterful. Excitement mounts as the horn and trumpet fanfares invade, but eventually, the movement seeps into a sumptuous, almost jazzy calm, before the opening scherzo ends the movement. The fourth and fifth movements both use the elements of voice (Mahler also uses voice in his next two symphonies as well). The fourth movement is for solo alto, and the melodic/harmonic material is borrowed from his Des Knaben Wunderhorn. Petra Lang is beautiful in the lyrical first section, and a bit more forthright in the second half. It is the shortest movement at just under 5 minutes. The 33-minute final movement is a magnum opus unto itself. A movement of great virtuosity, of particular note is the off-stage ensemble, the haunting brass chorale with contrabassoon, the heroic rising melody, and of course the use of organ and voice. Twenty minutes into the last movement, all instruments cease to play as a hushed chorus (marked mysterious) enters. Extremely low register bass singers, a soprano and alto duet, and a dramatic choral reading are all points of interest. A grand paean of joy ends the entire work.
This is my first introduction to Andrew Litton and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra; they are truly showing themselves to be a first-class ensemble. The brass (a feature in all Mahler) are exceptional (Litton gets an extremely mellow sound), the soloists are exquisite (perhaps my favorite of any Mahler 2), and the chorus is also of fine quality. The Virtual Reality sound on the Delos label is superb; it really makes the ensemble speak as it would in a hall, but instruments like the harp, carry in the recording also. Litton follows Mahler's score faithfully, dynamic and tempo markings are followed judiciously, and the ensemble responds with passion; Litton gives us the true dynamic markings; when pppp is called for (instruments and chorus), that is what he gets; he is also in no hurry, and lets the music speak on its own. The recording does not displace classic interpretations, but it certainly has attained common stature with faithful interpretations. A good choice.