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Mahler - Symphony No. 2

Martini

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Anybody have any recommendations for Mahler's 2nd sym? Preferably ones that are very good performances and also well recorded. I only have Sym. No. 9 currently, and would like to add few more works by him.
 

Jim Taylor

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Pierre Boulez conducting the Berlin Staatskapelle is notable, particularly because it features Diana Damrau. The Mariss Jansons recording with the Concertgebou is fairly good. Unfortunately, I love Mahler, and pay more attention to the performance than I do the recording quality. I'm bad that way. :confused: Sorry.

Abbado has several Mahler works recorded, and Abbado is fantastic. He's done the 2nd (Chicago Symphony Orchestra), 3rd, 4th and 5th. Horenstein has several Mahler recordings that are good audio quality, but I don't like Horenstein. Stokowski is too fast, and Horenstein is too slow.

I truly regret that I couldn't help you more. I firmly believe that if you cut a swath through Mahler, Beethoven, Bruckner and Mussorgsky, you'll be as close to heaven as you can get. Jim Taylor
 
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Jmudrick

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Bernstein's first and third recordings, Litton, and Fischer are excellent and easily available on streaming sevices.
 

MRC01

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I'm surprised nobody's yet mentioned Solti's recording with the LSO, Heather Watts & Heather Harper, from 1966. A great performance, and an excellent recording for its time, still sounds decent even today.

I listened to the Simon Rattle with CBSO on Idagio and Qobuz, liked that one. I wouldn't say I like the performance more than the Solti, but it's a more modern recording that sounds better.
 

xaviescacs

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I wouldn't recommend anything but Boulez. Have a look at his prologue in Bruno Walter's book on Mahler. His capacity of being objective with Mahler's music unleashes all its power and significance. One the best, and easy to listen, examples is the 4th's first movement. He fully succeeds in exposing all the ambiguity that makes this music eternal, just taking everything to the maximum, without adding nor subtracting anything, just the music. In my book, Boulez's Mahler integral it's on the top of most relevant contributions to music ever.
 

AudioJester

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Its sought of like asking whats your recommendation for a red wine. Everyones going to have their own prefetences.

Can I suggest something different?
Get a qobuz subscription. Dozens of well recorded versions of Mahler 2 as well as virtually unlimited music. If you add in Roon it can provide a more complete experience as well.
 

fredoamigo

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The artistic criteria can be assimilated to the choice of a good wine it is true because it is often subjective, but the technical criteria of qualities of catch of sound are them objective.
the choice of the 2nd by Boulez is one of those ..

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xaviescacs

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Its sought of like asking whats your recommendation for a red wine. Everyones going to have their own prefetences.
The artistic criteria can be assimilated to the choice of a good wine it is true because it is often subjective, but the technical criteria of qualities of catch of sound are them objective.
There are different interpretation of the same thing, a music score. However, every musical decision can be justified and eventually some justifications can be better than others. So yes, if you take fidelity to the writen music as the goal, there are better interpretations than others. Try to find some awful recordings of Mahler's symphonies, which are many, and you'll instantly notice that something is wrong, when compared to Boulez, Rattle or Haitink, to name a few. Boulez expresses it very well: when music becomes philosophy. When this happens, the interpretation is good. And a philosophical statement must be coherent to itself, al least, not everything is valid.
 

AudioJester

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Well, those versions and many more, including my favourite by Litton, are all on qobuz
Sample as many wines as you want....
 

xaviescacs

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Well, those versions and many more, including my favourite by Litton, are all on qobuz
Sample as many wines as you want....
But if you then select a few, and try to find differences, for sure you can argue why your favorite is better in musical terms, and that constitute a position which can be defended against others. You may be able to convince others or vice versa. What I mean is that I strongly believe that there are performances than can be solidly argued to be better than others. I don't think it's a matter of taste at all, I believe there is some truth there.
 

AudioJester

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But if you then select a few, and try to find differences, for sure you can argue why your favorite is better in musical terms, and that constitute a position which can be defended against others. You may be able to convince others or vice versa. What I mean is that I strongly believe that there are performances than can be solidly argued to be better than others. I don't think it's a matter of taste at all, I believe there is some truth there.

Not looking to defend, argue or convince anyone of anything musical. Not challenging your "beliefs" either.

Just trying to help OP find quality recordings as requested
 
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Martini

Martini

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I'm fond of Simon Rattle's version with the CBSO. I registered with ASR to tell you this because I love this recording so much. This is the one with Arleen Auger and Dame Janet Baker.
Welcome aboard, don't go back to just lurking :)
 
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Martini

Martini

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Pierre Boulez conducting the Berlin Staatskapelle is notable, particularly because it features Diana Damrau. The Mariss Jansons recording with the Concertgebou is fairly good. Unfortunately, I love Mahler, and pay more attention to the performance than I do the recording quality. I'm bad that way. :confused: Sorry.

Abbado has several Mahler works recorded, and Abbado is fantastic. He's done the 2nd (Chicago Symphony Orchestra), 3rd, 4th and 5th. Horenstein has several Mahler recordings that are good audio quality, but I don't like Horenstein. Stokowski is too fast, and Horenstein is too slow.

I truly regret that I couldn't help you more. I firmly believe that if you cut a swath through Mahler, Beethoven, Bruckner and Mussorgsky, you'll be as close to heaven as you can get. Jim Taylor
Thanks Jim. I haven't been able to find the Boulez or Abbado downloadable, at least not on HDtracks or ProStudioMasters. I did spot the Jansons recording, though. Any thought about the Otto Klemperer 1963 version?
 
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Daverz

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Anybody have any recommendations for Mahler's 2nd sym? Preferably ones that are very good performances and also well recorded. I only have Sym. No. 9 currently, and would like to add few more works by him.

Ivan Fischer on Channel Classics has probably the best combination of interpretation, performance and sound quality.


Some of the classic recordings are:

Bruno Walter on Sony. Walter was also a Jewish convert to Catholicism and a Mahler protogé. I believe he was in sympathy with the religious sentiments behind this symphony more than anyone else who recorded it. Sound is not the best of the classic stereo recordings, but this really works for me more than most recordings.

Klemperer/Philharmonia (EMI or Warner)

Bernstein/New York Philharmonic (Sony

Mehta/Vienna Philharmonic (Decca)

Tennstedt (LPO Live)
 
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Martini

Martini

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There are different interpretation of the same thing, a music score. However, every musical decision can be justified and eventually some justifications can be better than others. So yes, if you take fidelity to the writen music as the goal, there are better interpretations than others. Try to find some awful recordings of Mahler's symphonies, which are many, and you'll instantly notice that something is wrong, when compared to Boulez, Rattle or Haitink, to name a few. Boulez expresses it very well: when music becomes philosophy. When this happens, the interpretation is good. And a philosophical statement must be coherent to itself, al least, not everything is valid.
This is sort-of why I was seeking recommendations. I've found that often, with Classical music, that the first version you listen to can color your judgement for subsequent interpretations. So I figure it's best to start with a solid work. Sound-wise, a bad recording can kill a great performance, however a great recording won't save a bad performance.
 

Jim Taylor

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Thanks Jim. I haven't been able to find the Boulez or Abbado downloadable, at least not on HDtracks or ProStudioMasters. I did spot the Jansons recording, though. Any thought about the Otto Klemperer 1963 version?

I've heard several versions; the 2nd was a staple for Klemperer. I don't have the 1963 version, and I'm not sure I've heard it. Are you sure we're not discussing the 1962 release with Elizabeth Schwarzkopf? Jim
 
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Martini

Martini

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I've heard several versions; the 2nd was a staple for Klemperer. I don't have the 1963 version, and I'm not sure I've heard it. Are you sure we're not discussing the 1962 release with Elizabeth Schwarzkopf? Jim
Yes, that's the one. HDtracks shows the release date as '63
 
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