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  Linn Records -
  CKD 452 (2 discs)
  Mahler: Symphony No. 2 - Zander
  Mahler: Symphony No. 2

Miah Persson (soprano), Sarah Connolly (mezzo)
Philharmonia Chorus & Orchestra
Benjamin Zander
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Related titles: 7 show all

Reviews: 1

Review by Jon Benger April 20, 2014 (9 of 10 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
We are exposed to many recordings of Mahler 2 with diverse approaches to telling the story, and it is difficult to find one which satisfies in all respects. Furthermore, it is a piece in which live performance can be spectacular and moving - difficult to achieve in a recording, even with the highest fidelity in the recording and playback chain.

This recording delivers many good things. The Philharmonia is a well-balanced ensemble, strong in all areas. Notable are the rich string sound and penetrating lower brass. The soloists, especially Sarah Connolly perform with sensitivity and are placed well in the overall sound. Zander roots the performance in the music as written: there is no over-affectation, but some very lithe phrasing gives rise to some beautiful music making, and the ebbs and flows of the drama are deftly executed. From a performance perspective, this is a recording I'll be exploring a lot more.

Regarding the quality of the recorded sound, I listened initially to the multichannel surround mix. This was a serious disappointment. I'm not sure whether it was an attribute of the acoustic in Watford Coliseum, but I found the sound mix very bottom heavy with booming resonance in the loud sections and the surround channels were unnaturally prominent. I reverted to the hi-res stereo which worked slightly better for me, but to be honest I've heard more satisfactory sound on some RBCD versions. On the plus side, there is no compromise on dynamic range here.

That said, I still haven't found that all-elusive perfect recording of this symphony, and I am probably asking too much. I will keep this one for its undoubted merits as a highly coherent and dramatic performance and for the wonderful solo work of Connolly and Persson.

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Works: 1  

Gustav Mahler - Symphony No. 2 in C minor "Resurrection"