- Symphony No. 2 in C minor ("Resurrection")
Gilbert Kaplan certainly knows his Mahler Two. An amateur conductor who made his fortune as a publisher and financier, Kaplan was awestruck by the overwhelming power of Mahler's "Resurrection" Symphony the first time he heard it, and he has never looked back. His fixation led, among other things, to the publication of the autograph score and the 1987 release of a recording with the London Symphony, which, surprisingly, became a critically acclaimed top seller. Here, with dozens of additional concert performances under his belt and with the aid of a new edition of the score made possible by his support, Kaplan releases his second recording of the work, this time using the venerable Vienna Philharmonic, the orchestra that premiered the symphony in 1899. No doubt, it's another coup for Kaplan. For one, the orchestra performs brilliantly. The brass, in particular, deserve special mention for rising to the challenge of Mahler's demanding writing with some luminous playing, and the singing, too, from both the soloists and the choir, is distinguished. Add to that state-of-the-art sound (with special care given to the spatial effects in the Finale), and the result is an admirable Mahler Two by any reckoning. But why a second recording? Hundreds of corrections went into the new edition, and Kaplan follows each of them scrupulously, realizing the work with a new exactitude that should whet the appetites of Mahler aficionados. Indeed, Kaplan treats Mahler's performance directives with a near-religious reverence, and while some may find this approach too impersonal (certainly, the recording lacks the heart-on-the-sleeve passion of Bernstein's famous account), here is a compellingly fresh reading, superbly played, of one of the composer's most thrilling scores from perhaps his most ardent fan. Armchair conductors everywhere, take note.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Mahler: Symphony No. 2 "Resurrection" based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Four stars refers to SACD474594-2