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Benjamin Zander - Philharmonia Orchestra - Mahler: Symphony No. 2 - AllMusic.com


11 November 2013
AllMusic.com
Blair Sanderson
5 Stars

Benjamin Zander has been a prominent proponent of the symphonies of Gustav Mahler since the mid-1990s, and he has been consistently praised for his insightful interpretations and his erudite discussions of the works, which were included as bonus discs with his Telarc recordings. Zander has recorded Mahler's Symphony No. 2 in C minor, Resurrection, on Linn Records, which offers a discussion at its web site as a free download, though listeners who find there's only the music in this package shouldn't feel deprived. From the outset, it's clear Zander has something important to say, and his phrases, dynamics, articulation, and handling of the orchestral balances are immediately noticeable and distinctive. Fans of Zander's approach to historically informed performance practice will appreciate the authentic touches and economy of his interpretation, and the efficient playing of the Philharmonia Orchestra shows the rapport Zander clearly had with his musicians. The particulars of the score are clearly evident in the playing, often with unexpected nuances and delightful shifts of color that are what Mahler intended. Such attention to details isn't myopic, though, because Zander has a definite trajectory in mind, and he controls the symphony's impetus with great care. This 2013 super audio release ranks highly among contemporary recordings of the Resurrection, and is definitely one of the best of 2013.
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Benjamin ZanderBenjamin Zander
Gustav MahlerGustav Mahler
Miah PerssonMiah Persson
Philharmonia ChorusPhilharmonia Chorus
Philharmonia OrchestraPhilharmonia Orchestra
Sarah ConnollySarah Connolly
Mahler: Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection'Mahler: Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection'