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Symphony 2 [Blu-ray] (2011)

 NR |  Blu-ray
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Classical, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, German, French, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Euroarts
  • DVD Release Date: November 15, 2011
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005OV1N24
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #309,371 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

Pierre Boulez conducts the Staatskapelle Berlin and Staatsopernchor with soloists Diana Damra and Petra Lang.

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rising to the Level of the Indispensable November 24, 2011
Verified Purchase
All of a sudden, in this centennial year of the death of Mahler, there are now four Mahler Seconds on Blu-Ray.
ABBADO's Lucerne performance of 19/20 August 2003 was the first to appear on Blu-Ray. There was a sound problem with the initial release, but it has been fixed. My copy forms part of the boxed set of the first seven symphonies, where the First and the Second are combined onto one disc, the Third and Fourth on another, the Fifth and Sixth on another, while the Seventh is sole occupant of another disc. It is wonderful to have all the Mahler symphonies out on Blu-ray already so early in the life of the format, and the bulk of them presented by Abbado's handpicked Lucerne players. The contributions of Berlin veterans like clarinettist Sabine Meyer and flautist Emmanuel Pahud are highlighted in the Second, and their presence is missed in the First, which was recorded later. The blu-ray sound of the Second is astonishingly better than on the prior DVD release, and reveals one of the greatest performances of this work in our time. The performance and the disc are so perfect that it would have seemed like hubris to attempt another release. Yet three fine competitors have surfaced almost simultaneously.
CHAILLY's Leipzig performance of 17/18 May 2011 formed part of the first annual International Mahler Festival, along with a performance of Mahler's Eighth. The two symphonies both require large choral and orchestral forces, so there was practical advantage to having them both while the participants were available. The chorus masters Howard Arman, Simon Halsey and Gregor Meyer were certainly busy with rehearsals leading up to the festival, as the results testify.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Huge improvement over dvd release December 9, 2011
This performance by Boulez has always been a yardstick against which other versions are measured. I will not try and repeat the essence of the several excellent reviews of the original dvd. I will point out some important differences between this and the competition by Chailly, Abbado and Gilbert now that we're on a level Bluray playing field.

Firstly, the improvement in both sound and video in this bluray over the dvd is mind boggling. Even though this recording is now over six years old, the picture quality is impeccable, every little detail visible. The sound is downright scary in its power (I used DTS MASTER audio). One of the biggest differences is the cellos and basses, particularly in the opening bars. The close miking here gives exactly the impact you want in this entry. Likewise, throughout the piece, because of Boulez's regard for lines and counterpoint, everything is heard in all its glorious detail. By contrast, Chailly does not bring the basses properly to the fore in this first movement - they're a bit reticent. Abbado's recording comes in second on this point. Overall, though, I thought Chailly's recording a little more refined than the others - a bit sweeter.Perhaps it's because it's newer.

Now - the singers. In this work, I like my mezzo's tone nice and syrupy (rich), but refined. Petra Lang is as good here as Anna Larsson on Abbado's disc, which is saying a lot. Sarah Connolly is also very good in the Chailly version. Diana Damrau is one of the greatest coloratura sopranos ever (listen to her as Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute - its on You Tube). Here she is perfect.
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