Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Mahler - Symphony No 2|
Actors: Pierre Boulez, Diana Damrau, Petra Lang, Staatskapelle Berlin
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
This has everything that's missing from the DG recording
B. Guerrero | 04/21/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
I like this DVD of Boulez's *live* M2 "Resurrection" much, MUCH more than his DG studio recording. In short, it has everything that's missing in the studio recording. Starting from the rear, Boulez conducts - and gets! - a real crescendo from the timpani on the very last chord of the symphony. On the DG recording, there's virtually no crescendo on the last chord (go figure!). There's almost zero organ on the DG recording, regardless of what stereo I play it on. While not huge sounding, there's sufficient organ on this live performance. At the end of the symphony, the low gong is great, but the high gong is almost inaudible - this much is truly better on the DG recording. However, you gain an organ here, and I'll gladly live with that trade-off. The deep bells are also really good on this live one.
While Petra Lang doesn't possess a paricularly beautiful sounding vocal instrumental, she certainly knows how to use what she's got (she'd make a great Erde). I find her more involved sounding than Michelle De Young. Also, the mezzo and soprano match each other perfectly here - they really work together. The chorus is excellent on this live performance. All of the offstage brass stuff is perfectly audible and well coordinated. The scherzo has an almost tangible sense of irony and humor (ironic humor, anyone?) that's simply missing on the Vienna recording. There's no underlying sense that everybody is just skating along. Last but not least, the main climaxes to the first and third movements are far more gripping and powerful on this live perfomance. From beginning to end, the committment and execution of the Staatskapelle Berlin is second to none. This was one hell of a great concert. If you're a fan of Boulez, or just a fan of Mahler's "Resurrection" symphony in general - either way, add this one to your collection.
A Fitting Tribute to Mahler and to Boulez at 80
Mr John Haueisen | WORTHINGTON, OHIO United States | 06/22/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There's hope for us as we get older. Pierre Boulez, at the age of 80 has totally prepared the Staatskappele of Berlin for this flawless performance.
The soloists always play a major role in Mahler's second. Soprano Diana Damrau shines with a crystal-clear voice that cuts through the orchestra and chorus like a Mahlerian "alldurchdringer"--an all-penetrating force.
Even when not singing, she looks involved in the drama. Contralto Petra Lang sings forcefully and with conviction, adding to the impact of Mahler's statement of his faith in a resurrection.
There are also other excellent dvd recordings of this symphony. The Lucerne Festival Orchestra, conducted by Claudio Abbado is excellent, alongwith superb soloists Anna Larsson and Eteri Gvazava.
If you enjoy a good show alongside a beautiful performance, please don't overlook Leonard Bernstein and the Vienna Philharmonic and London Symphony Orchestra. In addition to a perfect performance of the music, you are treated to Lenny's leaping, bouncing, and almost flying, as he demonstrates his involvement in, and love of, the music.
Choosing the best Mahler 2 is like choosing among one's children: each has a unique identity, but you will love them all."
A Beautifully Played and Filmed Mahler 'Resurrection' Sympho
J Scott Morrison | Middlebury VT, USA | 05/31/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm no Mahler expert like the writer of the first review posted here ('Mahler nutcase', he calls himself), but I certainly agree with his general assessment of this DVD.
The DVD commemorates Boulez's 80th birthday; how is it possible that this ever-young man got to be eighty? (Unlike some others, I think Boulez is an exemplary Mahler conductor, too.) This concert features an orchestra not terribly familiar to us in the US, the Staatskapelle Berlin (and in fact when I first saw the DVD I misread it as the Staatskapelle Dresden and was a bit puzzled when I didn't see players with whom I am familiar). The Staatskapelle Berlin is, of course, the orchestra for the Berlin State Orchestra, and they don't give anything away to more famous ensembles; they sound inspired. The singers, though, are well-known. Petra Lang features in a number of previous Mahler recordings. I disagree with 'Mahler nutcase' in that I think Petra Lang has a beautiful voice, a chocolate-y contralto with just enough edge to make it stand out above the orchestral sound mass. (I actually prefer the sound of her voice to that of our current most familiar 'Mahler contralto', Michelle de Young. But no one will ever replace my old favorite, Maureen Forrester!) Her 'Urlicht' and 'O glaube' are heavenly. As for Diana Damrau, well ... she is surely the most dramatically effective coloratura singing today. (Her Queen of the Night must be heard to be believed.) One of my hallmarks for this symphony is the way in which the soprano soloist's voice emerges almost imperceptibly from the choral mass in the last movement, rising until it shines like a pole star. It gives me goosebumps when done right. Damrau (perhaps with help from the recording engineers) manages this very effectively, subtle but electrifying. The chorus is that of the Berlin State Orchestra and they are marvelous, beautifully blended, suitably ecstatic in the 'Auferstehen.' The final moments of the symphony are almost unbearably joyous when done well, and they are here.
In short, I will happily live with this DVD for years to come.
Recorded live in the Philharmonie, Berlin, on 26-27 March 2005. Videography directed (beautifully) by Michael Beyer, produced by the redoubtable Paul Smaczny. Sound is crystal clear. Picture format: NTSC 16:9; Sound formats: PCM stereo, Dolby 5.1, or DTS 5.1; Subtitles: German, English, French, Spanish; Region code: 0 (worldwide); TT=89mins
Pierre Boulez and the Mahler 2`
Leonard G. Cohn | New York, NY | 01/21/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Not only the best performance of the the Mahler 2nd Symphony, but the best video of an orchestra I have ever seen! Lighting and camera work amazing."