Mahler: Symphony No. 2 in c minor

Mahler: Symphony No. 2 in c minor

5.0 1
by Iván Fischer
     
 
Because the "Symphony No. 2 in C minor, Resurrection," is extremely varied in material, wide-ranging in expression, and subdivided to the point of seeming like a patchwork of interludes and symphonic fragments, it has often proved to be the most difficult of Gustav Mahler's symphonies to interpret with clarity and consistency. Many

Overview

Because the "Symphony No. 2 in C minor, Resurrection," is extremely varied in material, wide-ranging in expression, and subdivided to the point of seeming like a patchwork of interludes and symphonic fragments, it has often proved to be the most difficult of Gustav Mahler's symphonies to interpret with clarity and consistency. Many conductors and orchestras have delivered powerful performances of this immense, sprawling work, but maintaining its formal coherence has been a challenge few have met with satisfactory results. This 2005 recording by Iván Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra is a grand rendition with a forceful interpretation, gorgeous sound, and thrilling climaxes that many will find awe-inspiring; but it is also a little unfocused, wayward in direction, and unpredictable, enough so that it appears to lack an over-arching trajectory and artistic unity. Fischer's reading of the score is somewhat variable: hit-or-miss with rubato and dynamic levels in the first movement, adequately controlled in the Andante, slack and slightly under-tempo in the Scherzo, reverently paced in Urlicht, and reasonably uptempo and forward moving in the immense, episodic Finale. It seems that Fischer is almost too self-conscious about his choices, as if he is optimizing certain features of the performance for the sake of making a great-sounding recording; and it's possible that his conception of the whole work is lost in his concentration on particular moments. This is neither a broad-brushstroke "Resurrection," à la Bernstein, nor is it a finely detailed version, in the manner of Boulez (either of whose performances are at least internally consistent, if drastically different from each other), but it falls somewhere in between: exciting and moving in many places, yet insufficiently gripping in others, and overall missing the scope that would hold it together. However, just in terms of its audio quality, this double SACD is a collector's dream, with nearly ideal timbres and splendid resonance in 5.0 surroundsound and DSD recording; so if you are looking for a "Resurrection" that sounds like the end of the world, this package may fill the bill.

Editorial Reviews

Gramophone - Edward Seckerson
[CD of the Month -- 2006 Awards Issue] The crowning glory is, as it should be, the finale -- and it is here that Fischer, his performers and his engineers, really excel.... Impressive.
The Guardian - Tim Ashley
A taut, angry performance, political as well as religious in tone, that links the musical language of apocalyptic uncertainty with that of imperial decline.... The whole symphony, usually considered disjointed, comes over as exceptionally cogent, with not a duff passage or wasted note to be heard. Highly recommended.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/10/2006
Label:
Channel Classics Nl
UPC:
0723385235064
catalogNumber:
23506
Rank:
118850

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Symphony No. 2 in C minor ("Resurrection")  - Gustav Mahler  -  Budapest Festival Orchestra  - Iván Fischer  -  Hungarian Radio Chorus  - Lisa Milne  - Birgit Remmert  - Kalman Strausz  - Ad van der Kouwe

Album Credits

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Mahler: Symphony No. 2 in c minor 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago