> Gustav Mahler - Symphony No.2 [RJF]: Classical CD Reviews- Jun2002 MusicWeb(UK)

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Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911).
Symphony No 2 in C Minor Resurrection
Kathleen Ferrier (con) and Joan Vincent (sop)
Concertgebouw Orchestra. Amsterdam Toonkunstchoir. Cond.
Otto Klemperer
Live performance given at the Holland Festival on 6 July 1951. Bargain Price


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Richard Caniell, founder and driving force behind this series, justifies the issue of this disc on two counts. The first is as a tribute to Ferrier, with whose vocal artistry and personality he is, like many others, obviously infatuated.

Of course there is another reason - Otto Klemperer. Yes, he recorded the work, under studio conditions, and in that wonderful recording venue, London's Kingsway Hall, a few years later. But, that recording, reissued as an EMI "Great Recordings of the Century", lacks the exuberant vitality found in this version of the long last movement. Rössl-Majdan is no match for Ferrier although Schwarzkopf is superior to Vincent.

The informative booklet contains a number of brief essays by Caniell. The one on Ferrier is particularly poignant. One cannot say enjoyable as it relates to the deterioration of a lovely person and superb artist as she moved inexorably, in those pre-tomoxofen days (the anti-breast cancer 'wonder' drug) to a painful death. If you are a Mahler or Ferrier fan, and haven't heard this performance, which is in good sound, then invest the modest cost, you will be well rewarded.

This performance has had previous life on LP and CD but this transfer from transcription discs has been accomplished without any electronic interference. The timing shown includes Broadcast Commentary at the start (1.00) and conclusion (0.50).

Robert J Farr

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