Home | Audio Reviews |Audiophile Shows | Partner Mags News

Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine
Gustave Mahler
Symphony No. 2 in c minor "Resurrection"
Lisa Milne, soprano; Birgit Rennert, alto;
Hungarian Radio Choir, Budapest Festival Orchestra
Conducted by Ivan Fischer
Review By Wayne Donnelly

 

 

  I have previously expressed in this forum my enthusiasm for this conductor and orchestra, among the finest performing ensembles in the world today. Having so admired their Bartok, Kodaly and Rachmaninoff, I was eager to hear what they would do with this monument of the Germanic symphonic repertory. I am happy to report that they deliver a triumphant "Resurrection" Symphony - brilliant in concept, execution and sound quality.

A few months ago I recommended the recording by Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony and Chorus. I did (and still) have reservations about MTT's interpretation of the first three movements, which I find somewhat emotionally remote, although still intriguing. But the late Lorraine Hunt Lieberson's singing of the fourth movement "Urlicht" text remains the most spiritually intense and moving performance of that music I have ever heard, and MTT and the San Franciscans are wholly compelling in the sprawling finale, giving that powerful but sometimes structurally problematical music a rarely achieved coherence, momentum and cumulative impact.

If MTT's reading seems, to this listener, to break the symphony into two parts, Fischer's vision of the music is more organically unified from start to finish. The first movement is appropriately dark and brooding, but the dark drama is leavened with some surprisingly graceful phrases that give the music freshness and surprise as well. One of Fischer's great gifts as a conductor is his ability to bring fresh insight to passages that most conductors render routinely.

The second movement is just about perfect. The three-quarter-time landler appropriately evokes peasant dance, and Fischer's subtly controlled rubato is at once earthy and graceful - a gorgeous reading. The following scherzo is fleet and sinister, with the bass drum punctuations - inaudible on the MTT recording - well captured. The huge orchestral outburst near the end is stunning.

Birgit Rennert's Urlicht may not match the spiritual depth of Lieberson for MTT - indeed, no one does - but her singing is vocally resplendent and quite moving in its warmth. And all of the performing forces are magnificent in the finale - including the engineers. This wonderful recording is for me the best Mahler Second of the digital era, and worthy to stand atop the heap alongside Otto Klemperer's great early 60's monument on EMI - about the highest praise I can bestow.

Ivan Fischer is scheduled to assume leadership of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington D.C., and I envy the patrons of that ensemble. My local Chicago Symphony is currently searching for a permanent music director to replace the departed - and unlamented by this writer - Daniel Barenboim. I can only hope that Chicago winds up with an equally inspiring leader, although that will not be easy. Meanwhile, I'm looking into cheap air fares between Chicago and Washington.

 

 

Performance:

Enjoyment:

Sound:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
 

Quick Links


Audiophile Review Magazine
High-End Audio Equipment Reviews

 

Equipment Review Archives
Turntables, Cartridges, Etc
Digital Source
Do It Yourself (DIY)
Preamplifiers
Amplifiers
Cables, Wires, Etc
Loudspeakers/ Monitors
Headphones, IEMs, Tweaks, Etc

 

Superior Audio Archives
Ultra High-End Audio Reviews

 

Videos
Enjoy the Music.TV

 

Columns
Editorials By Tom Lyle
Viewpoint By Roger Skoff
Viewpoint By Steven R. Rochlin
Various Think Pieces
Manufacturer Articles


Show Reports
New York Audio Show 2019 Report
Capital Audiofest 2019 Show Report
Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF) 2019
High End Munich 2019 Show Report
AXPONA 2019 Show Report
Zagreb AV Show Report 2019
CanJam Singapore 2019 Show Report
Salon Audio Montreal Audio Fest 2019
Bristol Hi-Fi Show Report 2019
Florida Audio Expo 2019 Show Report
Warsaw Audio Show Report 2018
New York Audio Show 2018 Report
Capital Audiofest 2018 Report
Copenhagen HighEnd 2018 Show Report
Australian Hi-Fi & AV Show Report 2018
Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF) 2018
CanJam 2018 Denver RMAF Report
KL International AV 2018 Show Report
High End Munich 2018 Show Report
AXPONA 2018 Show Report
Click here for previous shows.

 

Other
Audiophile Contests
Cool Free Stuff For You
Tweaks For Your System
Vinyl Logos For LP Lovers
Lust Pages Visual Beauty

 

Resources & Information
Music Definitions
Hi-Fi Definitions

 


Daily Industry News

High-End Audio News & Information

 

Partner Magazines
Australian Hi-Fi Magazine
hi-fi+ Magazine
HIFICRITIC
HiFi Media
Hi-Fi World
NOVO (CANADA HiFi)
STEREO Magazine
Sound Practices
VALVE Magazine

 

For The Press & Industry
About Us
Press Releases
Official Site Graphics

 

Contests & Our Mailing List

Our free newsletter for monthly updates & enter our contests!

 

Social Media & Video
      

 

 

 

       

Home   |   Industry News   |   Equipment Reviews   |   Press Releases   |   About Us   |   Contact Us

 

All contents copyright  1995 - 2019  Enjoy the Music.com
May not be copied or reproduced without permission.  All rights reserved.