Video: Masterpieces from Greatest Artists of All Times (Slideshow 1080p HD)
Audio: 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio 24/96k
Systematism in Audio Arts represents Artistic View and Exploration of possibilities of Sound that started with Edison's invention of the phonograph in 1877 until the 1950s. Second stage of Stereo was based on inventions from the 1930s, reached the public in the mid-'50s, and has provided great listening Pleasure for four decades. Stereo improved the reproduction of timbre and added two dimensions of space: the left- right spread of performers across a Stage, and a set of acoustic cues that allow listeners to perceive a front-to-back dimension.
Current Age represented by Multichannel surround sound technology, natural involving presence in A way that is robust, reliable and consistent there each individual sound can has its Unique location in 3-dimensional space.
Gustav Mahler was a composer obsessed with death. Whether this came from some sort of intrinsic psychological makeup or was the result of tragedy intruding into his life is anyone's guess, but there is no other composer of major stature who devoted so many works to explorations of mortality and the afterlife. These musical investigations can be quite explicit, as in Kindertotenlieder, or a bit more subtle, as in the fading notes of the ninth, which seem to echo Mahler's closing text in Das Abschied, utilized in Das Lied von der Erde, namely "ewig, ewig, ewig" (ever, ever, ever). If in Das Lied the phrase hints at spring and rebirth, in the Ninth it seems to portend the strange finality of eternity, an existence (if it may be termed that) beyond time and space. Mahler was famously a bit conflicted about his conversion to Catholicism, which came rather later than the Second ("Resurrection") Symphony, a religious choice of convenience, as it were, made largely to further his conducting ambitions but one which colored his guilt complex with heavy shades of black. The fact that he was ruminating about such an ostensibly Christian image as resurrection years before his ultimate conversion shows that Mahler's quest for spiritual answers wasn't confined to any one religion. (In fact, though lesser known than the Christian iteration, Jews themselves have a long tradition of believing in an afterlife, and Mahler's fascination with Eastern sects, notably Buddhism, no doubt filled his mind with images of karma and reincarnation).
'I belong nowhere' Mahler famously observed with regard to his religious proclivities after his conversion and yet that isolated spirit is fully on display in one of his most gargantuan yet eloquent pieces of symphonic writing, The Resurrection. Has any other composer spent such a tortuous journey getting from a minor key (C minor) to its relative major (Eb major)? Mahler was never one to shortchange his manifold ideas with easy formulae, and the Second Symphony is a marvel of large scale architecture, one which moves from the almost satirically biting edge of the funereal first movement to the elegiac strains of the choral finale, a finale reached only in an unusual (for classical symphonies, anyway) fifth movement.
----Alexander Golberg Jero
Mahler: Symphonie No. 2 in C minor 'Resurrection' Blu-ray, Audio Quality
For such an overpowering piece as the Resurrection, this DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 repurposing is an amazingly transparent recording, with inner lines completely unobstructed from a sonic standpoint. From the martial strains of the opening movement to the lovely choral finale, both the performance and the recording are unusually good. I was repeatedly struck by the warmth of the brass, so often too brittle in Mahler recordings. It's darkly burnished here, with just the right amount of bite to cut through the strings and reeds. The orchestra (and chorus) fill the front channels with appropriate directionality, and the surrounds offer a nice recreation of hall ambience. Though this is a relatively old source recording, circa 1999, there are no signs of aging in this repurposed 7.1 Blu-ray. Fidelity is sharp as a tack and dynamic range is unusually expressive and full bodied.
Mahler: Symphonie No. 2 in C minor 'Resurrection' Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
There's probably no better piece to experience what surround systems can offer in an orchestral setting than this huge piece of Mahler's. You may be unsure given the relatively low profile of this conductor and orchestra, but fear not: this is an assured and largely very successful performance nicely balanced between architectural formalism and emotional abundance. The DTS-HD MA 7.1 mix is brilliantly utilized to highlight the goosebump factor in Mahler's unpredictable flights of orchestral fancy. Though Mahler purists may still prefer the interpretation of Walter or Bernstein, this Caetani effort is commendable and offers a recording of unusual clarity to help bolster its reputation.
----Jeffrey Kauffman (Blu-ray.com)