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Mahler: Symphony No. 2
     

Mahler: Symphony No. 2

by David Zinman
 
David Zinman's second venture in recording Gustav Mahler's symphonies for RCA Red Seal is a brisk and propulsive reading of the "Symphony No. 2 in C minor, Resurrection," one upon which he and the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra appear to have lavished all their energies and skills. This hybrid SACD package presents the massive

Overview

David Zinman's second venture in recording Gustav Mahler's symphonies for RCA Red Seal is a brisk and propulsive reading of the "Symphony No. 2 in C minor, Resurrection," one upon which he and the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra appear to have lavished all their energies and skills. This hybrid SACD package presents the massive work on two discs -- one devoted to the first movement and the other containing the remainder of the symphony -- seemingly directing the listener to observe the intermission Mahler wanted between these parts. Not that Zinman's driven interpretation of the first movement really requires a rest break, nor is the orchestra's playing all that draining, but it's nice to follow the composer's wishes and it helps clear the air for the delicate and quiet Andante, which is rendered here with a gentle Ländler feeling. The scherzo "In ruhig fließender Bewegung," which provides the symphony's dramatic turning point, is particularly sharp and disturbing in this fast performance, and the tempo is unrelenting in its forward motion, not pausing for even a moment of sentiment. The fourth movement, "Urlicht," features contralto Anna Larsson as soloist, and her tone and expression are quite warm, though her voice comes in and out of focus as she moves. Similar spatial problems are evident in the Finale, where the offstage band and the trumpet calls are a little vague on standard CD equipment, planned as they are for the best effect on a multi-channel system. The final ecstatic section with soprano Juliane Banse, the Schweizer Chamber Choir, the extra brass, and the full orchestra is magnificent, and the conclusion of this ode is the most compelling part of this 2006 performance. This is definitely not the last word on this grandiose symphony, since its popularity only increases as time passes, but Zinman and his musicians can hold their heads high for a job well done, and RCA's engineers can be proud of the deep spaciousness and rich colors of the reproduction.

Editorial Reviews

BBC Music Magazine - David Nice
Zinman rarely puts a foot wrong... The sound, like the performance, is natural.... This is excellent work.
Philadelphia Inquirer - David Patrick Stearns
Rhythms are elegant and eloquent, interpretive decisions are centrist, sonorities are never gratuitously pretty, and formal rigor is apparent without smothering the music's fantasy.... One to live with.
The Guardian - Andrew Clements
As in his earlier account of the First Symphony, Zinman makes maximum use of the dynamic range of the recording.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/29/2007
Label:
Rca
UPC:
0828768715727
catalogNumber:
87157
Rank:
65483

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