I second or third or fourth, the Boulez recommendations.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.
Claudio Abbado, Lucerne Festival
I like Schwarzkopf very much. The quality of the recording, however, is not so great. That was something that you had said was important to you, wasn't it? Jim
I listened to this yesterday (the remastering in the Klemperer Mahler box), and it sounds great.
A great box. I wouldn't usually go to this 4th (Schwarzkopf is wrong for the finale) and the 7th is something you might only listen to once (very slow tempos), but the 2 and 9 are great, and the Das Lied is probably greatest recording ever made of it.
Certainly. Of course, while multichannel greatly enhances the sonic quality and the experience of it, it is another variable, independent of performance quality.One interesting thing about the live performance of Mahler #2, is there is a movement where horns are off stage, actually, in the back and a bit on each sides of the audience. This cannot be reproduced correctly in 2-channel.
This is series, as well as the Fischer/BFO series on Channel Classics and the incomplete Abbado/Lucerne series on BluRay , greatly benefits from good multichannel reproduction. There are several others, too.I do like the series that the San Francisco Symphony issues. It is originally recorded in DSD but there is a PCM version available too.
I don't have other Mahler #2 to compare in terms of performance and interpretation, but the recording quality of the Mahler #2 SACD by SFO/Tilson is amazing. The sound is spacious, the timbres of the orchestra is natural, and the dynamics is huge. The Mahler #1 SACD by Telarc/Zander is also spectacular.I have the San Francisco Mahler boxed set but have not listened to #2 yet (only #5). I have the discs, and the system, just need the time...
Leonard Bernstein's third commercial recording, with the New York Philharmonic on DGG, is the recording I have returned to the most often, including many already mentioned here. The sound is more than good enough, Bernstein's way with this work is how I first heard this piece [in the earlier NYPO recording on Columbia, not as good sonically as the DGG recording, but really not bad]. There are plenty of alternate performances that I have enjoyed, but none as much as this one.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.
Agreed. IMHO, it is Rattle's early one with the CBSO that is most interesting, albeit still not at Klemperer's level.So I downloaded two versions Simon Rattle at BSO, with Baker and Otto Klemperer at Philharmonia w/Schwarzkopf. I listened to Rattle last night and Klemperer today. I will say I liked the Klemperer version better.
I remember Rattle conducting the "Resurrection" with the LAPO at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, my first experience of the work in concert. Folks started leaving ten minutes before the climax, doubtlessly to find their way to a bar. This did not happen [many years later] when I was in a front row seat at Davies Symphony with Michael Tilson Thomas Leading the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. I wish it was this performance that SFS chose to release, it was one for the ages The SACD is pretty good for those that seek surround sound.Agreed. IMHO, it is Rattle's early one with the CBSO that is most interesting, albeit still not at Klemperer's level.