Mahler: Symphony No 2 | CD review

Schwanewilms/Braun/Bamberg SO & Chorus/Nott
(Tudor, two CDs)

Jonathan Nott's account of the Ninth Symphony in his ongoing Mahler cycle with the Bamberg Symphony was outstanding, but this new version of the Second comes as a disappointment. From the very first bars Nott seems intent on demonstrating that his is never going to be a massive, apocalyptic view of the work; he favours precision, definition and forward momentum over barnstorming tonal weight and dramatic power, and as the symphony presses on, the detail he and his excellent orchestra reveal is remarkable. Yet well before the end, the restraint of it all starts to seem too much, what proved to be much more than the sum of its parts in the Ninth is found wanting in the sprawling, multi-coloured canvas of the Second. In the Urlicht movement the rather curdled sound of the mezzo Lioba Braun is an acquired taste too, and though soprano Anne Schwanewilms adds a touch of vocal luxury to the finale, this vision of the resurrection is still distinctly underwhelming.


Andrew Clements

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Mahler: Symphony No 4

It's a provocative, iconoclastic performance, and highly recommended, says Tim Ashley

Tim Ashley

13, Mar, 2009 @12:01 AM

Mahler: Symphony No 3 - review
Jonathan Nott's account of Mahler's Third with his Bamberg orchestra starts and ends well, but is not perfect, writes Andrew Clements

Andrew Clements

02, Jun, 2011 @8:30 PM

Mahler: Symphony No 3 – review
The orchestral playing is as good as any, but Jansons's interpretation can't stand up against the great benchmark recordings, writes Andrew Clements

Andrew Clements

04, Aug, 2011 @9:50 PM

Mahler: Symphony No 6 – review
Antonio Pappano's recording may not be to everyone's taste, but this pulverising, warts-and-all Sixth really gets under your skin, writes Tim Ashley

Tim Ashley

05, Jan, 2012 @10:30 PM

Mahler: Symphony No 4 – review
Philippe Herreweghe's finely judged account of the Fourth Symphony tries to do it like Mahler would have done it, writes Andrew Clements

Andrew Clements

03, Feb, 2011 @10:25 PM

Mahler: Symphony No 9 – review
Zinman's reappraisal of Mahler may not appeal to everyone, but this superbly controlled performance sounds near faultless to Tim Ashley

Tim Ashley

13, Jan, 2011 @9:45 PM

Article image
CD: Mahler: Symphony No 6

(CSO Resound, two CDs)

Andrew Clements

24, Apr, 2008 @11:12 PM

Mahler: Symphony No 7 | CD review
There's little to get excited about in Neeme Järvi's account of Mahler's most enigmatic symphony, writes Andrew Clements

Andrew Clements

24, Jun, 2010 @9:01 PM

Mahler: Symphony No 8 | CD review

It's the measured, musical nous of Zinman's conducting that really deserves the spotlight, says Andrew Clements

Andrew Clements

22, Apr, 2010 @10:20 PM

Article image
CD: Mahler, Symphony No 8

5 Stars (Naxos)

Tim Ashley

13, Apr, 2006 @11:50 PM