Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Gustav Mahler, Otto Klemperer, Sydney Symphony Orchestra|
Otto Klemperer Discoveries Vol. 1: Mahler: Symphony No. 2 "Resurrection"
Listen to Samples
The Resurrection in English!
Thomas F. Bertonneau | Oswego, NY United States | 08/15/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 2 "The Resurrection" greatly appealed to Otto Klemperer, who led the offstage brass band in a 1902 Prague performance of the work under the composer himself. Klemperer performed the work everywhere he went, even programming it, in 1938, with the recalcitrant Los Angeles Philharmonic, which he served -- as far as the conservative disposition of the symphony board permitted -- as musical director. (That performance took place in Royce Hall on the UCLA campus and made use of the facility's fine, large organ; rumors occasionally circulate of air-check platters from a broadcast, probably through KFAC, but none have ever surfaced in public.) Klemperer recorded the "Resurrection" symphony twice for commercial release -- in Vienna for Vox (1951) and in London for EMI (1962). Many concert-performances of "The Resurrection" by Klemperer were preserved for posterity on various media, including fine analogue stereophonic tapes from Munich performances of the late 1960s. The Australian performance released by Doremi took place in Sydney, New South Wales, in September 1951 and evidently remained in the "Down-Under's" cultural memory as a great musical event. Like the studio reading on Vox, and unlike the studio reading on EMI, the Sydney performance uses distinctly rapid tempi, so that the whole symphony requires only about sixty-five minutes. (The EMI 1962 performance requires, by contrast, just over eighty minutes -- a startling difference.) Most unusually, the Sydney "Resurrection" employs an English-language translation of Friedrich Klopstock's German-language text. In the Fourth Movement, "Urlicht," the alto surprises us by singing of the "Rosebud red!" where habit strongly anticipates the Allemanic "O Röschen rot!" When the male voices of the chorus enter midway through the Finale they intone the words "Rise again, yes rise again" -- thus tweaking our expectation of the Teutonic "Aufersteh'n, ja aufersteh'n." The translation into the first language of most North American, British, and Australian listeners paradoxically makes Klopstock's familiar words sound unfamiliar and this effect of linguistic strangeness contributes to the dramatic character of Klmperer's traversal. There is currently no other recorded performance of this symphony using an English-language libretto. That would not suffice by itself for a recommendation, but coupled with such energetic, enthusiastic work from the orchestra, it does designate this release as worthy of exploration by those who know Mahler's "Resurrection" only through contemporary stereophonic recordings. The sound is surprisingly good, despite seeming to come from platters rather than tapes. While purists dislike heavy filtering, which Doremi uses (even to the extent of adding some tasteful faux-stereo effects in the Finale) -- I can only say that none of it bothers me."