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Not edited, I'm late for a get-together, but very anxious to share my enthusiasm for this release, after years of sitting through routine, slick, or interventionist Mahler 2nds.
The LPO play like angels (and devils!) throughout. I constantly found myself reminded of the whole-hearted, edge-of-seat music-making one encounters when listening to regional orchestras attempt music that's just a touch beyond their reach, but without, of course, a regional orchestras issues with polish and execution.
Jurowski's pacing and chord balancing serve the music very well. Percussion is given it's due, especially the low tam-tam, which really heightens the chill in the last pages of the 1st movt. The lyrical stretches of the 1st movt are joy as well, rising out of Wagnerian mists. The high, delicate horn material is blessedly rock-solid. A hair-raising funeral march follows, and I absolutely loved the String Basses' "attitude" as they commence with the halting, step-wise theme.
For once, the unusually rustic 2nd movt kept my attention, and the 3rd movts lyrical trumpet bit was as warmly nostalgic as I've ever heard.
At the beginning of the Urlicht I liked how the lovely-voiced Alto arose from the fading tam-tam of the preceding movt. The central section of the Urlicht, (in major), is spun beautifully, in fact, Jurowski and the LPO manage all of Mahler's nostalgic passages throughout with the utmost sensitivity.
The "Opening of the Graves" bit is almost blinding in its intensity. Epic here. First minor disappointment: off-stage brass not very menacing and get swallowed up pretty quickly during the Last Trump.
Once again a quick tribute to the dedication of the LPO players: immediately after the Last Trump, the strings hold on to their quiet, sustained chord with super-human intensity, as if the concert had just started. What physical and emotion stamina!
The two choruses leading up to the finale are well-done and Soprano soars as beautifully as any, (and certainly more rapturously than Schwarzkopf!), and the slight lack of razor-sharp execution in the final chorus IMHO actually added to the sense of "universal" elation. Even the final cacophony of bells and tam-tams seemed more musically-substantial than usual, and, thanks to Jurowski moving the very final music along, it felt part of the whole for once. Another minor quibble though, I wish the first entry of the organ was far more tummy-wobbling.
The warm recording is more than adequate, projecting a vast sense of space when need be, but also capturing a lot of detail. There are occasional moments of compression but none bothered me.
Edits: 06/11/17Follow Ups:
Mahler's attempt at a tone poem that would eventually become the 2nd symphony's first movement. Jurowski's performance is really fiery and intense. (Got my copy from eClassical.)
I love the way she sings Mahler tunes.
View YouTube Video
Now I undestand why Jurowski was able to really nail the 1st mov't!
I managed to crack the first cd pulling it out of its retaining clips
having only 21:16 of music on it? :-(
Surprising how they divided up the music on the two disks though.
IIRC, Mahler wanted a five-minute pause between the end of the first movement and the beginning of the second. So if the first CD has only the first movement on it, then you can wait for 5 minutes before playing the second, and you will have obeyed Mahler's instructions! ;-)
BTW, I'm glad you (EDIT: not you - I meant jdaniel!) like this recording - I've always felt that Jurowski is one of the best conductors of his generation, and he can speak pretty eloquently about the music he performs too.
Normally would take be at least 5 min. to find the CD case with the second CD in it so as to load it and hit play.
Mahler would be pleased with the long 5 min. pause I took between first and second movements.
"Thank you, Ivan!"
You're welcome, Gustav.
Oh, the Mahler 2nd? ;-)
Yes, of course I liked it!
As good or better than any I've heard, but you're asking the wrong guy here as I am only a recent convert to Mahler's musical world.
Only thing I would add if I could is the Mezzo from the above recording.
Have you heard this one?
Yes, I like the first Bernstein, and I was surprised at how similar it was to my ultimate fav, the 2nd Bernstein on DGG, which is better-recorded in '88. Columbia captured that low organ in the end too, though, surprising for Columbia! : ) That said, IMHO Bernstein is a bit "loose" in the first mov't, in both recordings.
And then there is this one! ;-)
Kaplan's Vienna Mahler 2 is a wonderfully recorded SACD that lets you clearly hear the poor ensemble and the bad soloists with excruciating clarity. More's the pity, it's one of the best multichannel Mahler soundfests that I know of.
and I got what I paid for. (Redbook CD version)
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