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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Gustav Mahler - Symphony No. 2 ''Resurrection'' (Zubin Mehta)


Composer: Gustav Mahler
  1. Symphony No. 2 in C minor "Resurrection": I. Allegro maestoso: Mit durchaus ernstem und feierlichem Ausdruck
  2. Symphony No. 2 in C minor "Resurrection": II. Andante moderato: Sehr gemächlich
  3. Symphony No. 2 in C minor "Resurrection": III. In ruhig fließender Bewegung
  4. Symphony No. 2 in C minor "Resurrection": IV. "Urlicht": Sehr feierlich aber schlicht
  5. Symphony No. 2 in C minor "Resurrection": V. Im Tempo des Scherzo: Wild herausfahrend -
  6. Symphony No. 2 in C minor "Resurrection": Maestoso: Sehr zurückhaltend -
  7. Symphony No. 2 in C minor "Resurrection": Sehr langsam und gedehnt -
  8. Symphony No. 2 in C minor "Resurrection": "Aufersteh'n, ja aufersteh'n wirst du": Langsam. Misterioso -
  9. Symphony No. 2 in C minor "Resurrection": "O glaube, mein Herz, o glaube": Etwas bewegter

Ileana Cotrubas, soprano
Christa Ludwig, coltralto
Vienna State Opera Chorus
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Zubin Mehta, conductor

Date: 1975
Label: Decca




Now we’re talking Decca Legend. One of the great Mahler 2s, this 1975 recording has moved unceremoniously from a full-price 2 CD set, to a Decca Double (coupled with Mehta’s masterful Schmidt Symphony No. 4), to at last this one-disc mid-price reissue. At least it’s mostly stayed available, and deservedly so. If for nothing else, you’ll want it just to hear the Vienna Philharmonic play like they’re on fire! I mean they’re alert, responsive, involved, and (dare I say it?) excited. They didn’t sound this way for Abbado on DG a few years back, and they sure as hell didn’t back in the 80’s on Maazel’s overly-weighty Sony Classical recording. Mehta’s having none of that. This is a fresh, lithe and dynamic reading with loads of spontaneity. He gets all sections of the orchestra to play out: even the brass shed their “molded” tone in favor of a bright, ringing sound. It reminds me of Charles Mackerras’s Janacek recordings (which also have you reaching for the CD cover to make sure it’s the VPO). Percussion? Yeah, they’re there too, playing like they mean it! Do I need to mention that Ileana Cotrubas and the always marvelous Christa Ludwig sing radiantly? And the Vienna State Opera Chorus? Wonderful! In the sound department, Decca has provided another one of their Sofiensaal spectaculars (OK, so there is a little tape saturation at a couple of climaxes–it is a 25 year old recording, after all.) This was clearly a really good day for everybody involved, and the result has weathered the decades effortlessly. A must-hear.

-- Victor Carr JrClassicsToday

More reviews:


Gustav Mahler (7 July 1860 – 18 May 1911) was an Austrian late-Romantic composer, and one of the leading conductors of his generation. As a composer he acted as a bridge between the 19th century Austro-German tradition and the modernism of the early 20th century. In his lifetime his status as a conductor was established beyond question, but his own music gained wide popularity only after periods of neglect. After 1945, Mahler became one of the most frequently performed and recorded of all composers. Mahler's œuvre is relatively small. Aside from early works, most of his are very large-scale works, designed for large orchestral forces, symphonic choruses and operatic soloists.


Zubin Mehta (born 29 April 1936) is an Indian conductor of Western classical music. Mehta was the Music Director and Principal Conductor of the New York Philharmonic from 1978 to 1991, the longest holder of the post. He is currently the Music Director for Life of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and the Main Conductor for Valencia's opera house. Mehta received praise early in his career for dynamic interpretations of the large scale symphonic music of Anton Bruckner, Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler and Franz Schmidt. His conducting is renowned as being flamboyant, vigorous and forceful.


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