Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Mahler, Gustav. (1860-1911) Symphony No. 2 "Resurrection".

From my collection.
Bought in 2008.
First listen: 11-11-2008.
Second listen: 15-2-2017.
Label: Brilliant.
Licensed from Denon.
CD 2& 3 from 15.
Recording dates: March 1985.
Recording venue: Alte Oper, Frankfurt, Germany.
Recorded by: Denon.
Running time: 85:00.
Classical relevance for me: A flawed performance.

Works performed:
See heading.

Works performed by:
Radio-Sinfonie-Orchester-Frankfurt, Eliahu Inbal.
Helen Donath, Soprano.
Doris Soffel, Alto.
Chorus of Norddeutscher Rundfunk, Hamburg, Werner Hagen.
Dale Warland Singers.

This is a mixed blessing, but in the end a very flawed performance of the second symphony. Let me first point out the good things. The orchestra is perfect, well drilled by Inbal, the recording by Denon is State of the Art, and there it stops. For enjoying the orchestral skill, it also highlights the problems caused by conductor and soloists. Inbal is harnessing the orchestra tightly and keeps them from letting the music flow freely. No emotional outbursts, free of any from of sentiment, the warmth is barely registering on the surface. So it's a technical performance, and this I could enjoy, well I do, safe for the fact that Inbal is an audible part of Mahler's score. Not a little bit, but irritatingly so, especially there where silence is a necessary commodity, Inbal hums his heart out, not even in tune. His urging the orchestra on, does not come from his hands but with all the might of his voice and body. This for me ruins the most intimate parts of the music and as a whole leaves me angry that the engineers did not stop this. Furthermore I find both soprano and alto a vocal disaster. Doris Soffel is spreading out a heavy vibrato, and munches the words, while Helen Donath would be fine, be it for the shrill top notes and also like Soffel the vibrato. They are in competition of who is screaming the loudest, or adding the most vibrato.
The choir is good enough, but the Dale Warland singers were the odd ones out. It did not fit.
This will not land again in my player, thus I can not recommend this recording, there are better ones out there.


Riisager, Knudåge. (1897-1974) The Symphonic Edition, Volume I.

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