Related Reviews
American Record Guide
'To say my hopes were exceeded barely begins to describe his transcendent reading.'
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Gramophone
‘Zander’s fidelity to Mahler’s markings remains remarkable.’
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Choir & Organ
5 Stars
‘…it is a truly insightful, inspiring and engaging reading from a Mahler interpreter of considerable and honest musicality.’
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International Record Review
'intimacy and rare beauty'
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ConcertoNet.com
'The pliant and rapturous playing of the Philharmonia, the outstanding soloists, and Zander’s powerful and fresh reading make this an exciting release and a welcome addition to the catalogue.’
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The Irish Times
5 Stars
'...of remarkable beauty...'
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The Sunday Times
'Essential listening.'
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BBC Music Magazine
'Orchestral quality is never in doubt...outstanding...'
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MusicWeb International
Recording of the Month: 'Zander and his players bring out Mahler's sardonic humour...which I've never heard delivered quite like this...a fantastic, keenly observed performance.'
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MahlerReviews.com
'...beautiful, and beautifully captured...'
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Herald Scotland
'...the Philharmonia Chorus...are fabulous.'
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The Times
4 Stars
'...the Philharmonia generates a tremendously rich sound.'
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AllMusic.com
5 Stars
'...one of the best of 2013.'
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Pizzicato
4 Stars
‘Any committed Mahlerian should not miss the release.’
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Boston Globe
‘It’s tender and reverent, and full of detail.’
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Benjamin Zander - Philharmonia Orchestra - Mahler: Symphony No. 2 - Words and Music


01 November 2013
Words and Music
Rick Jones

With neat timing, the Resurrection arrives ready for All Saints. Zander was famous for his timing when, 21 years ago, he conducted Beethoven's Ninth in under an hour. Here he is extra slow in the dancing, unsung middle movements, both of them in three time as if they were variations on the Laendler. The andante moderato sounds almost lazy but the easy swing catches on to its rondo repetitions of the principal dance tune, the final time after comic pauses, beautifully timed by Zander, and unexpectedly pizzicato.  There's less of the ruhig (calm) in the In ruhig fliessender Bewegung and, though it moves with a mischievous goblinesque gait, it is so brim-full of shining melodies that refusing to be swept along becomes impossible. The main tune of undulating quavers slithers from section to section as if spotlighting each in turn. Zander brings them out. It ends with a chord as awesome as God's wrath so that mezzo Sarah Connolly makes real impact coming in querulously and alone with the Wunderhorn verse O Roeschen rot. This short movement is the key to the work, an adagietto like the Fifth's, which ends similarly with a hanging chord resisting resolution for as long as a wind player can hold breath. The forty minute finale features the Philharmonia Chorus intoning the great a capella crowd whisper 'unsterblich' (immortal) though they are outgunned by the orchestra at the end. The instrumental first half is marred only by a shaky trumpet who must regret not having a second go. Presumably even the Last Trumpet may blow a blip.            
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Sarah ConnollySarah Connolly
Mahler: Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection'Mahler: Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection'