Gustav Mahler – Symphony No. 2 Resurrection [cond. Zubin Mehta] (1975) Decca

Now we’re talking Decca Legend. 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 Jr, ClassicsToday

01. Symphony No. 2 in C minor “Resurrection”: I. Allegro maestoso: Mit durchaus ernstem und feierlichem Ausdruck
02. Symphony No. 2 in C minor “Resurrection”: II. Andante moderato: Sehr gemächlich
03. Symphony No. 2 in C minor “Resurrection”: III. In ruhig fließender Bewegung
04. Symphony No. 2 in C minor “Resurrection”: IV. “Urlicht”: Sehr feierlich aber schlicht
05. Symphony No. 2 in C minor “Resurrection”: V. Im Tempo des Scherzo: Wild herausfahrend –
06. Symphony No. 2 in C minor “Resurrection”: Maestoso: Sehr zurückhaltend –
07. Symphony No. 2 in C minor “Resurrection”: Sehr langsam und gedehnt –
08. Symphony No. 2 in C minor “Resurrection”: “Aufersteh’n, ja aufersteh’n wirst du”: Langsam. Misterioso –
09. 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

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