Ailish Tynan / Catherine Wyn-Rogers / Gerard Schwarz / Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 2 "Resurrection"

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Gerard Schwarz may be better known as a conductor of modern American symphonic music than as a specialist in the symphonies of Gustav Mahler, but his steady progress through the cycle with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic shows a commitment to the composer that is admirable. This recording of the Symphony No. 2 in C minor, "Resurrection," is an exciting addition to the Artek catalog, and Schwarz and the orchestra hold their own with the best on CD. The shocking climaxes certainly hit home, and the most thrilling moments in the first, third, and fifth movements have the power and urgency to match the greatest performances of the past 50 years. Yet there are many fine nuances in the playing, and the attention to detail makes one wish that this had been released in an audiophile format, rather than as a stereo CD. However, considering that this is a live recording, the sound is exceptional and surprisingly free of extraneous noises. The first four movements fit on the first disc, and the finale occupies the second CD, so the Mahler-approved break between the first and second movements is avoided, though this program gives a better sense of continuity to the whole performance. Highly recommended.

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