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Czech Philharmonic|Mahler: Symphony No. 2

Mahler: Symphony No. 2

Czech Philharmonic, Semyon Bychkov, Christiane Karg, Elisabeth Kulman, Prague Philharmonic Choir

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The duo of conductor Semyon Bychkov and the Czech Philharmonic performed Mahler's Symphony No. 2 in C minor ("Resurrection") beginning in the late 2010s, and it is no surprise that by the time of this 2023 release, the third in their series of Mahler symphonies, they had it down to a science. This is not an overly emotive Mahler Second; for a sense of panic and sardonic angst in the symphony's darker earlier phases, consider recordings by Simon Rattle or even Leonard Bernstein. However, that is not the only way to look at Mahler, and Bychkov's soberer approach has a good deal of value. He takes the music at a deliberate pace; at an hour and 26 minutes, this giant work is about six minutes slower than average, and he allows room for a striking wealth of instrumental detail from what is undoubtedly one of the greatest orchestras on the European continent. As the storm and stress build toward the final vocal transfiguration, there is real power here. The soloists are both fine, but soprano Christiane Karg in the final "Aufersteh'n" is a standout. PentaTone's engineers do a superb job in Prague's Rudolfinum, giving the hall's magnificent organ its due and creating space for a good deal of the orchestral detail. A superb Mahler Second that made classical best-seller charts in the spring of 2023.

© James Manheim /TiVo

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Mahler: Symphony No. 2

Czech Philharmonic

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Symphony No. 2 in C Minor "Resurrection" (Gustav Mahler)

1
I. Allegro maestoso. Mit durchaus ernstem und feierlichem Ausdruck
00:23:15

Gustav Mahler, Composer - Semyon Bychkov, Conductor, MainArtist - Czech Philharmonic, Orchestra, MainArtist

2023 Pentatone Music B.V. 2023 Czech Philharmonic under exclusive license to Pentatone Music B.V.

2
II. Andante moderato. Sehr gemaechlich
00:10:55

Gustav Mahler, Composer - Semyon Bychkov, Conductor, MainArtist - Czech Philharmonic, Orchestra, MainArtist

2023 Pentatone Music B.V. 2023 Czech Philharmonic under exclusive license to Pentatone Music B.V.

3
III. In ruhig fliessender Bewegung
00:11:10

Gustav Mahler, Composer - Semyon Bychkov, Conductor, MainArtist - Czech Philharmonic, Orchestra, MainArtist

2023 Pentatone Music B.V. 2023 Czech Philharmonic under exclusive license to Pentatone Music B.V.

4
IV. "Urlicht". Sehr feierlich aber schlicht
00:05:29

Gustav Mahler, Composer - Elisabeth Kulman, MainArtist, AltoVocals - Semyon Bychkov, Conductor, MainArtist - Czech Philharmonic, Orchestra, MainArtist

2023 Pentatone Music B.V. 2023 Czech Philharmonic under exclusive license to Pentatone Music B.V.

5
Va. Im Tempo des Scherzos. Wild herausfahrend - Maestoso. Sehr zuruckhaltend
00:20:47

Gustav Mahler, Composer - Semyon Bychkov, Conductor, MainArtist - Czech Philharmonic, Orchestra, MainArtist

2023 Pentatone Music B.V. 2023 Czech Philharmonic under exclusive license to Pentatone Music B.V.

6
Vb. "Aufersteh'n, ja aufersteh'n wirst du". Langsam, misterioso - "O glaube, mein Herz, o glaube". Etwas bewegter
00:15:11

Gustav Mahler, Composer - Elisabeth Kulman, MainArtist, AltoVocals - Semyon Bychkov, Conductor, MainArtist - Prague Philharmonic Choir, Choir, MainArtist - Christiane Karg, MainArtist, SopranoSolo - Czech Philharmonic, Orchestra, MainArtist

2023 Pentatone Music B.V. 2023 Czech Philharmonic under exclusive license to Pentatone Music B.V.

Album review

The duo of conductor Semyon Bychkov and the Czech Philharmonic performed Mahler's Symphony No. 2 in C minor ("Resurrection") beginning in the late 2010s, and it is no surprise that by the time of this 2023 release, the third in their series of Mahler symphonies, they had it down to a science. This is not an overly emotive Mahler Second; for a sense of panic and sardonic angst in the symphony's darker earlier phases, consider recordings by Simon Rattle or even Leonard Bernstein. However, that is not the only way to look at Mahler, and Bychkov's soberer approach has a good deal of value. He takes the music at a deliberate pace; at an hour and 26 minutes, this giant work is about six minutes slower than average, and he allows room for a striking wealth of instrumental detail from what is undoubtedly one of the greatest orchestras on the European continent. As the storm and stress build toward the final vocal transfiguration, there is real power here. The soloists are both fine, but soprano Christiane Karg in the final "Aufersteh'n" is a standout. PentaTone's engineers do a superb job in Prague's Rudolfinum, giving the hall's magnificent organ its due and creating space for a good deal of the orchestral detail. A superb Mahler Second that made classical best-seller charts in the spring of 2023.

© James Manheim /TiVo

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