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  Delos -
  SA 3237 (2 discs)
  Mahler: Symphony No. 2 - Litton
  Mahler: Symphony No. 2 "Resurrection"

Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Chorus
Andrew Litton (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Related titles: 5

Reviews: 2

Review by peteyspambucket June 17, 2004 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
In the midst of dull to average SACD Mahler series from Boulez, Zander, and MTT, and one-shots (on SACD) from Kaplan and Chailly, I find this Litton Mahler 2nd surprisingly refreshing. This is no cookie-cutter Mahler 2, like the others are putting out. Litton clearly takes chances with the score and makes some wonderful choices. I found myself reaching for the score again because I had never heard certain parts interpreted the way Litton does them. The last movement is glorious in pace and sound. The soloists are very nice. I wish Lang had a deeper tone, but she's very good in any case. Heidi Grant-Murphy sounds great, and it's the sound you want in the soprano part.

Acoustically, the sound quality is decent, sounding like it would sound from about 20 rows back from the stage. It doesn't blow you away. But the subwoofer was defnitely doing some work whenever the bass drum was in use. The chorus sounds a little diffuse and lacking body. The dynamic range of this disc is astounding. If you have the playback at a comfortable volume level for the "Urlicht", you will be knocked over by the beginning of the final movement. The choral entrance, although not a whisper (Mahler wrote "barely audible"), is what you would hear in a hall. Very few choruses can truly give a sustained "ppp" and shape it. The organ sounds very natural. The strings play wonderfully, and are captured very well.

I have good memories of a Telarc recording from Slatkin, Kathy Battle, and Maureen Forrester, and I hope they release that on SACD. (I bet Battle has something to do with holding it up!) It may be too much to ask for DG to release on SACD their emotional Bernstein version which featured Christa Ludwig and Barbara Hendricks; a live performance at which I was privileged to be in attendance. I will NEVER forget how Ludwig sang with the chorus in the final chorale ("Aufersteh, Ja Aufersteh!").

The Litton version is very good and will definitely provide ongoing listening pleasure upon repeated listenings. I must comment on the stupid packaging. The CD case is actually a single SACD case, and they stacked two disks into one spindle. The 2nd disk could easily go flying if you are not careful when opening the case. In spite of this caveat, I highly recommend this recording.

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Review by lenw May 12, 2004 (0 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I agree the packaging is poor - this should have been a double jewel case. As to the recording, I have the Bernstein Deutsche Grammophon 423395-2 version on RBCD. It is a much more aggressive version and draws you into the performance more than this version. The climax on the Bernstein version is considerably superior with the chorus and organ almost overwhelming. But the overall sonics on this SACD are superior to the RBCD - particularly the air around the soloists and orchestral instruments.

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Works: 1  

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