Sinfonie Nr. 2 Hybrid SACD, Doppel-CD
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Die Einspielung von Mahlers Sinfonie Nr. 2 ("Auferstehung") ist die Fortsetzung des Mahler-Zyklus' mit David Zinman und dem Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich. Dieser soll bis 2010 abgeschlossen sein. Schon die Einspielung der 1. Sinfonie erregte die Aufmerksamkeit der Presse. Sie "...besticht durch permanente energetische Spannkraft und großen Atem" (NZZ). Mahler erweitert in der "Auferstehung" den Klangraum des großen Orchesters mit Vokalsolisten und Chor.
Der gesamte Zyklus erscheint auf Hybrid-Super Audio CDs, die auf jedem CD-Spieler in höchster Stereo-Qualität wiedergegeben werden können, aber in Verbindung mit einer Super Audio CD kompatiblen und Surround-fähigen Anlage einen wahrnehmbaren Raumklang und ein deutlich verbessertes Klangbild ermöglichen.
Kleinere Schwächen erscheinen mir nur die zu hallig aufgenommene Pauke, etwas zu schnelles Tempo im 2. und vor allem 3.Satz (zu sehr Ozean statt Fischteich) und die beiden Solisten zu sein, die, ohne die Aufführung wirklich zu beeinträchtigen, nicht mit der Leistung des überragenden Chors mithalten können.
Ich kann die Aufnahme nur empfehlen, vor allem, weil die spirituelle Qualität des letzten Satzes hier einmal wirklich eingefangen wird, gerade die leisen, klangflächenartigen Abschnitte sind außergewöhnlich subtil eingespielt.
auf Mahler spezialisiert hat. nur leider kann ich nur CD2 abspielen. CD1 kann ich weder auf
meinem normalen CD-Gerät noch auf meinem PC lesen und dass, obwohl explizit auf der CD steht:
"This CD plays on all standart CD players"
habe mir diese CD ein zweites Mal bestellt, da ich einen Defekt vermutete. doch leider ist
der Fehler auch das zweite Mal aufgetreten. Also vorsicht beim Kauf!
Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta) (Kann Kundenrezensionen aus dem "Early Reviewer Rewards"-Programm beinhalten)
Overall, Zinman's tempo is deliberate and purposeful. He never wallows. The Super Audio, permits the timpani it's depth, and there is ample air around the Zurich winds. Zinman's attention to detail, is very fine as the several little nuances can be clearly heard, and in their proper perspective as well. There are, in the 13th minute area, some momentary pauses I didn't care for, as they failed to add to the already more than adequate tension of the scene. If this were the "Todtenfeiere", a separate composition, but the thematic basis for this 1st ,movement , then that would be a different matter. Still, the passage 15:13 to 16:38, packs plenty of punch and even a glimpse of the coming redemption that awaits us well down the road. In the 19th minute the treading basses, deep brass and low level percussion, bass drum and tam-tam are menacingly well heard, and even better yet, felt as the ominous signs they are. Tis simply gets buried in most readings, but Super Audio seems to help out. I liked it.
The last 2-3 minutes of this first movement are an engineering marvel for their subtlites, and I can't wait for more. May be the best seat in the house? Yes, for me, that is.Having to change CDs at this time is an irritant I cannot get used to, as the momentum gets disrupted, even if ever so slightly, The 2nd movemnt, is the Andante moderato and it unfolds very leisurely under Zinman's gentle command, each phrase tenderly molded so as tyo create a stong, but not obtrusive contrast with the grttyness of the opening funereal music. I must stae, here at this point in my review, that this hearing is only my 2nd close one, the maiden voyage having been around the beginning of last year, but unpublished. I have it somewhere in my piles, ( a sysnonym for files, L.O.L.) on a hand written legal pad, and I know I am hearing more tonight, than the other day. this is an idea I hatched and I think, for me, it is a good oneTherefore---Listen once as soon as it arrives, date it, then set aside for a good while, and trhen a 2nd deep look, and date that as well. the, compare the two. Good idea? I think so.If it is music we truly love, I am amazed at what I can remember, and I've had a couple of strokes, so I'm not dealing from the "top-of-the-deck", again, L.O.L. Returning to the Landler, this lilting waltz like melody is very gracious unbder Maestro Zinman, and the Zurich's strings are as sweet as Swiss chocolate! This movement is one of the composer's most "disjointed" of all, with the trio material appearing in more than one time, but still it is contrasted without excessThe 2nd trio appearance, around 04:43 is stronger, yes, but, again not either obstructive nor rude in temperament, whicxh is, all too often, just what we get.
The 3rd movement Scherzo is chocked full of that fiendishly terrific 'Kletzmer" music, and the prominent clarinet and all the whining Yiddish temperament emerges very well. The movement's climax, just before the 8 minute point is chilling and powerful, as well as wisely paced, getting the attention it requires, and no more.
Some scholars say the Mahler's first 4 Symphonies were his Wunderhorn Symphonies, and there is truth to this, despite the inclusion of the 4th, because for decades, no one knew what to make of this #4. I agree, and include the Fourth, as it doen't seem to be a stand alone Symphony, but a sort of summation of the initial trio, the commonality of the Wunderhorn poetry aside.
Therefore, the 4th movement, the "Urlicht: O Roschen rot! Der Mensch liegt in groster Not" is next. The Swedish contralto Anna Larsson is the solist and her dark and resonant tone echoes this noble and moving text as I have seldom heard it done. David Zinman first came to my attention back in 1996 when I heard his Nonesuch recording of the Symphony#3 by Gorecki, and bought it on the spot, and at full price. Aside from that unbearably poignant music, I was struck by the maestro's attention to detail, some of the finest I had heard ever. That same effort gives Miss Larsson the rapturous support she requires and makes this touching Wunderhorn song work as well as it does. Maestro Zinman's work with his former Baltimore Symphony was also exemplary, but here the focus of Mahler consumes his energies of lyricism and tonal painting. A very lovely movement, indeed.
The Finale of the Resurrection is a most challenging work and Zinman is more than up to the task. One of the potential pitfalls of this massive movement is the temptation to play it episodically, with the flow being somewhat chopped up into little scenes, due to it's essential program music flavoring. The music needs to be allowed to flow, steadily, and in a continuous and stately tempo, emphasizing the journey of the soul towards the light of salvation. If you, as a listener, are hearing this Symphony for the very first time, I envy you, for several reasons, the first being that you may NOT know how it will end. Will the deceased be saved, or lost? By this time, judging from all that you've heard, you are probably guessing he will find his paradise. And this being the case, it will make more sense with the flow of the music that it be deliberate and even, a bit predictable. Zinman knows, of course, how this will all turn out and sees no reason in dallying about but in moving forward at a comfortable pace, as to allow all those tiny bits and pieces of sound to be fully presented. They are there for a reason, and Mahler was as meticulous a composers as was Beethoven. Everything has it's place, and there is a place for everything. The smallest utterance gets the Maestro's concentration and attention, as nothing is taken for granted. This is a mark of a fine reading, and this IS a fine one, at that.
The Tonnhalle's on stage brass consist of 6 horns, 3 trumpets and four trombones, plus tuba. Off stage, there appears to be 4 more French Horns, 4 trumpets and perhaps a trombone. It is likely there ids also a timpanist in the backstage area an a persucssion player or two as extras. The triumphant forte march sequence is powerfully present in this Super Audio and the off-stage players can be more readily heard in this newest technology, proving how good SA is for this particular work. We don't kn ow where this auxiliary band is located for the recording sessions, but I would opt for a distant location out in the auditorium, giving the effect Mahler sought, that of a "vast void." From about 13:33 to around 15:00, the distant brass and percussion can be easily heard, though, of course, not as loud, and the effect the RCA engineers produce is spine-tingling. the numerous attacks in this finale are sharp and perfectly balanced, as the composer's language can be clearly delineated. Why, even the upper winds sound far off, and evocative. I caught myself holding my breath many times in this familiar music, as if hearing it for the very first time. Wonderful!!
The Schweiser Kammerchor enters at 19:34 with it's expanded complement of 91 total voices, 48 men and 43 ladies. The muted string accompaniment could of been a bit louder, but it IS audible. As our soloists blend in, the effect is simply one to be heard tro be believed. Celeste and harps are easy to spot and this delicate liturgical text is more than merely poetic, it is otherworldly.
A second go around adds muted mid-lower brass and the richness of this section is rivaled by the likes of Tennstedt, Solti and Abbado. Zinman clearly understanding what this music needs. At "O glaube," the soloists presentation is honest and deeply sincere, as well as being dramatic. I can't the conductor's pacing enough as it can make or break this entire episode. Ainman's tempois exquisite as he sends his forces off on their final push, gathering momentum. At about 30 minutes we find ourselves in the last epic pagewith the Tonnhalle playing withtotal commitment from here on out. The Tonnhalle's pipe organ enters at 31:20, but this is not the big "Saint-Saens" moment, but it's foot pedals are the key. The radiant ending left me drained. Simply sublime! C-MAJOR!!!
A VERY, VERY, good Resurrection, not at all far from Slatkin's terribly under rated 2nd and, with the great assistance of Super Audio technology, this is almost as goof as being there. WOW! A very high recommendation for all these artists and the folks at RCA. I look forward to sampling the Mahler 8th and others , but for now, this is a must have. Happy and satisfying hours of lie\stening pleasure and God's blessings upon you all, Tony.
This might be a good time to mention that if you're not familiar with why Mahler's second symphony is often referred to as "the Resurrection Symphony," it is because that was how he tried to explain its "meaning" to his new 20-year-old wife, Alma. Those of us who love this symphony may hear in it our own struggle for the meaning of life. Why must we die? Is there life after death? In this symphony, in both the music and the exquisitely beautiful words, Mahler and many of us find the answers. This is one of the special qualities of Mahler's works: although he publicly denied official "meaning" for his musical works, if you read about his life, you'll learn that he was always trying to come to terms with the life and death issues of existence.
OK, enough about the biographical applications. Back to this performance:
Soprano Juliane Banse and contralto Anna Larsson both sing in a manner that is pleasing, both technically and aesthetically. They sound great together. The chorus too, stays focused, and avoids that frequent problem of being too soft or of taking over the symphony--they sound "just right." I also like the way Zinman handles the crescendos. He controls them carefully so that they build up to the proper climax, without appearing too tentative OR too over-powering. It's a matter of balance, and Ziman keeps that in mind.
Apologies for going back to a generic comment about all Mahler second symphonies, but for those who may wonder at the cover art: the man apparently talking to a fish is a reference to an earlier song by Mahler, titled "St. Antony of Padua, preaching to the fish." Instrumental variations on that song are the subject of the Third Movement of the Symphony 2. Even if you don't care about the background of this symphony, you will still be able to appreciate the vast beauty it expresses, and Zinman presents M2 very respectably.