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Solti's LSO Mahler 2 is a top-tier performance, and certainly on a level with the somewhat better known Mahler 1 from this source. All the virtues and vies of Solti's direct, extrovert approach apply here, but its a performance that works very well on its own terms. I certainly prefer it to his later Chicago performance, included in his complete set from Decca. I've never heard the performance on CD, but it comes up sounding very well here.
Interpretation: leaves nothing to be desired Sound: excellent, analogue
Since I encountered Mahler for first (many years ago now) their Second, Third and Eighth Symphonies has become less and less impressive for me. Why? Well, Because I've been finding them (as it happens to me with Beethoven's 9th last movement) more ambitious without real meaning: it seems like Mahler was trying to compose an opera, but not dare to do so for some obscure reasons. All that said, someone can been wondering why I have bought this version of the Second Sympmphony. The answer is I ENJOY A LOT THE PURELY INSTRUMENTAL PARTS and I try to abstract myself from any programmating intention behind them. And here enters the great talent of Sir Georg Solti and the instrumental forces under his command: truly excellent performance in a work wich can be considered more or less up to one's personal taste, but never trivial or easy. The other motivation, and this isn't of musical nature, was the auditive impression I had when listening to the demo tracks and confrirmed after dowloading the album. Full, rich sound, with with and depth soundstaging, full-bodied instruments (double basses and celli at the very start are simply breathtaking). It is true that there are some floor noise but nothing disturbing at all. At some points, the brass shows a hint of saturation and edginess..., but again the vivid impression is a winner (including for me some charming "ambient" noises, like small movement of some musician in his chair or the pas of a score sheet). Those minute details makes more delectable (and credible) the listen, far away from the clinic and unnatural "perfection" of so many today's orchestral recordings. And a proof of how honestly the analog to digital mastering has been made. Recommended (specially if you ALSO like the vocal parts!).
One of the great Mahler 2's, both in the drama and boldness of Solti's approach and the quality of the recording. If you want a 2nd that could take your breath away, this very well could be the one for you.
Another fine recording, although perhaps a tick below the best I've heard from HDTT in my system. Performance is great, even though not my favourite Mahler symphony.
Title: Mahler Symphony No 2 - Resurrection
Artist(s): Georg Solti London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus
Recording Info: Transferred from a Dolby encoded 15ips 2 track tape
Recorded by Decca - May 27, 1966
Produced by John Culshaw - Engineer Gordon Parry
Kingsway Hall, London, England