Benjamin Zander - Philharmonia Orchestra - Mahler: Symphony No. 2 - International Record Review
When one listens to the fulsome ancillary material available online for free download as part of Linn's excellent presentation standards, Benjamin Zander is clearly on a mission with this particular symphony in a painstakingly prepared recording which goes well beyond the parameters of a quick rehearsal/red light enterprise.
The performance is unquestionably deeply studied and starts from the considerable advantage of taking Mahler's universal vision at face value...Zander provides faithful reportage of the composer's wealth of expressive instructions, particularly his frequent tempo changes.
Sarah Connolly single-handedly takes the symphony to a level untouched so far. Not since Alfreda Hudson or Helen Watts have I heard the intimacy and rare beauty of this song communicated with such indelible vocal brushstrokes, nor the scarily exposed accompaniment hanging so beautifully on her every word.
...the finale to a degree, especially with finely matched solo soprano work from Miah Persson and a fervent chorus. The spatial atmosphere of the offstage music is potently realized and much enhanced by the renowned acoustics of the Watford Colosseum (Town Hall as was).