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Mahler: Symphony No. 2 [Hybrid SACD - DSD]

Gustav Mahler , Isabel Bayrakdarian , Lorraine Hunt Lieberson , Michael Tilson Thomas , San Francisco Symphony Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

Price: $27.82 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 6 Songs, 2005 $5.94  
Audio CD, Hybrid SACD - DSD, 2004 $27.82  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Disc 1:

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Symphony No. 2 in C minor: I. Allegro maestoso23:39Album Only

Disc 2:

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Symphony No. 2 in C minor: II. Andante moderato11:49Album Only
listen  2. Symphony No. 2 in C minor: III. In ruhig fliessender Bewegung10:46Album Only
listen  3. Symphony No. 2 in C minor: IV. "Urlicht": Sehr feierlich, aber schlicht 5:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Symphony No. 2 in C minor: V. Finale?Im Tempo des Scherzos21:30Album Only
listen  5. Symphony No. 2 in C minor: V. ...Chorus: "Aufersteh'n"15:25Album Only

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Frequently Bought Together

Mahler: Symphony No. 2 + Symphony No 5 + Mahler: Symphony No. 6 in A minor "Tragic"
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Product Details

  • Performer: Gustav Mahler, Isabel Bayrakdarian, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Michael Tilson Thomas, San Francisco Symphony
  • Audio CD (November 9, 2004)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Hybrid SACD - DSD
  • Label: Sfs Media
  • ASIN: B0006A9F5A
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #138,620 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
54 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Thrilling May 18, 2005
Format:Audio CD
Michael Tilson Thomas's fifth Mahler recording with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra in his series of the complete Mahler symphonies is just as wonderful and exciting as any Mahler performance can be. The second, commonly called the Resurrection Symphony, is the most successful of the first four symphonies in structure, clarity, and overall architecture. Unlike the unbalanced third and forth symphonies and the sometimes indulgent first, the second is strong in its architecture, powerful in its emotional scope, and wonderfully rich in its musical language. The second is Mahler's answer to death and resurrection, a powerful transition from minor to major, that, when well performed, is chilling in its emotional impact.

The symphony begins with an arresting funeral march in dark minor. The stirring of the low string in fff is frightening as they call together the whirling activity. The movement is in sonata form, with a double development, each capped of with terribly exciting climaxes. The lovely andante is calming in its gentle swing, but is still filled with the passion of the first movement. The enigmatic scherzo, with its wonderfully vertiginous orchestration, is a dark compilation of Jewish melodies. The lovely forth movement, with its wonderful vocal writing, acts as an introduction of sorts to the dramatic and gigantic finale. The finale is a vivid journey through darkness and adversity, leading to the wonderful glory drenched ending of the symphony.

There are few faults in this consistently splendid recording of the symphony. The San Francisco Symphony is in great form, delivering a performance congruous with Mahler's idiomatic sound world. The first movement begins with tremendous energy; the lower strings really dig into their parts with the necessary vehemence.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MTT and Mahler Cycle Continues December 21, 2004
Format:Audio CD
Michael Tilson Thomas continues his survey of the symphonies of Gustav Mahler with this finely played and recorded Symphony No. 2. As with all the other recordings in this survey the work is based on live performances in Davies Hall with the San Francisco Symphony and Chorus, and this has proven a wise method of achieving an ambience of presence that is a far cry form the old studio cut and paste performances.

The SFO plays very well indeed, and Chorus is rich and full ranged, and the soloists are among the best available (Isabel Bayrakdarian and Lorraine Hunt Lieberson). Thomas knows his Mahler from all angles, has been a fine proponent of this repertoire for many years, and has developed his own connection with the scores. In every respect this recording is absolutely first rate: MTT's overall concept is assured from the first movement on, his tempi while a bit on the slow side work for him, and he gets the most out of his orchestra and chorus. Technically then, this is an excellent Mahler No. 2.

What feels strangely lacking here is the shattering emotional commitment that this same team gave us with the Mahler No. 6. The phrasing is immaculate, the Andante is leisurely beautiful, the brass response and percussion/tympani are enormously effective, yet it is at times such as the closing descending bars of the first movement that seem to slowly plod rather than come to a conclusion. As magnificent an artist as Hunt Lieberson is there is no mystery or from-the-bowels-of-the-earth feeling to her well-executed 'Urlicht'. From the chorus MTT manages to find that otherworldly pianissimo that begins in the last movement and allows that to grow into an exalting paean.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hunt-Lieberson and symphony's ending steal the show December 26, 2006
Format:Audio CD
I want to like this better than I do, as the good moments are truly great. But upon repeated listenings, once again, MTT finds spots to just suddenly slow down for no real or good reason. Here, it's in the scherzo; towards the end. In particular, there's a passage where Mahler makes it sounds as though time is standing still for a bit. Naturally, MTT feels that he has to exaggerate that which Mahler has already built into the music. It's so typical of what he's been doing in his on-going cycle. Also, slow and soft passages throughout the performance are, indeed, SLOW! If I'm not mistaken, MTT's finale stretches well beyond 35 minutes. And, as with his earlier SFSO recording of the Mahler third symphony, the second movement is somewhat faceless and prosaic. Too bad, because there are some other really fine things that happen here - the climax to the first movement being one of them. Not only does MTT nail that climax, but he also erases the awkwardness of the next moment by having the low strings jump right back with their fast, ascending flourishes - almost without any waiting. That's a brilliant interpretive touch. But then there's that faceless second movement, followed by the scherzo with the strange dragging of tempo, here and there. Too bad, because then we get Lorraine Hunt-Lieberson, who has graced this recording with possibilly the greatest vocal performance ever! In addition, the end of the symphony is quite thrilling; although, the organ sounds far stronger on the more natural sounding Blomstedt/SFSO M2 from Decca (as a trade-off, the alternating salvos of the percussion are stronger here).

In the final analysis, although the mezzo is nowhere as good, I just feel that the Blomstedt/SFSO M2 flows better from begining to end.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Despite some posing and mannerisms, this is a highly accomplished...
Tilson Thomas conducts Mahler with a light touch, so your response to his Second Sym. will depend on how that sits with you. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Santa Fe Listener
4.0 out of 5 stars Bravo MTT
My first thought is that taking on Mahler as a project is quite ambitious and requires a lot of confidence in your players. Regarding the Symphone No. Read more
Published on July 9, 2010 by Anthony M. Bango
3.0 out of 5 stars expected Wow but not
having heard MTT elsewhere, read glowing reviews and knowing what SACD can sound like, i was generally disappointed both in music and sonics. Read more
Published on February 22, 2009 by groundie
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent piece, excellent recording!
This album is an excellent recording of a very big piece of music. The album inspired me to finally upgrade my stereo-music system to a surround-sound system for my family room.
Published on October 5, 2008 by Peter Lehmann
5.0 out of 5 stars OH MY GOD!
I haven't written a review on this site in a really long time. But there are just some things that require coming out of exile. Read more
Published on June 19, 2006 by DAVIDNYC1023
5.0 out of 5 stars Mahler 2-wow !!
This is one of the finest recordings of Mahler 2 ever!!! The interpretation is superb..very Bernsteinish (who singlehandedly brought Mahler back into the public eye on his... Read more
Published on October 23, 2005 by A. G. Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars The final performance was the greatest
I attended multiple performances of these recording sessions, and I can assure you that the final performance, the season finale Saturday night, was the greatest musical experience... Read more
Published on March 4, 2005 by peederj
3.0 out of 5 stars A "nice" performance.
Pristine sound and immaculate playing, but that doesn't make for a great Mahler 2. Compared with, say, Bernstein (Sony), Solti (1981) or Gielen (Hannsler) the performance is under... Read more
Published on December 14, 2004 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sterling "Resurrection", Essential Listening
Michael Tilson Thomas leads the San Francisco Symphony in a stirring recording of Mahler's powerful Resurrection Symphony #2. Read more
Published on December 12, 2004 by Ed Uyeshima
5.0 out of 5 stars A profound and gorgeously played reference recording
This is the best Mahler recording yet done in the cycle by San Francisco and Michael Tilson Thomas. The orchestra is concise and crisp, at times I thought I was listening to... Read more
Published on November 18, 2004 by Eddi Haskell
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Topic From this Discussion
Any Chance for Tilson Thomas Mahler SACD box set?
At least one source says a box set will be released later this year.
Aug 29, 2010 by J. Caivano |  See all 4 posts
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