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Mahler: Symphony No. 2 [Chailly/Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra] Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080i/60
  • Audio Codec: PCM 2.0 Stereo; DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Subtitles: English, French, German
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Run Time: 96 Mins.
  • Discs: 1
  • Studio: Accentus
  • Blu-ray Release Date: September 27, 2011
  • List Price: $39.99

[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B005HK8KY6[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product]B005HK8KY6[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Gewandhausorchester/Chailly: Mahler 2 -

Purchase Mahler Symphony No. 2 on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4.5/5]
The Performance
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Performance

[Rating:4/5]

The 2011 Mahler Festival was held appropriately enough in Leipzig where conductor Gustav Mahler first become a symphonist.  The Second Symphony, also known as the “Resurrection,” was Mahler’s initial attempt to compose a vocal symphony, as did his predecessor Beethoven with his famous Ninth Symphony.  This was to be a style that Mahler continued in his third, fourth, and eighth symphonies.  The last three movements of Symphony No. 2 form an ascension from the simple children’s song “St. Anthony of Padua’s sermon to the fish,” through “Urlicht” (primal light) to the massive choral finale denoting the resurrection .

Recorded in May 2011, Maestro Riccardo Chailly, music director of the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester and organizer of the Mahler festival, leads his experienced orchestral and choral forces and his soloists with firm yet sympathetic control.  This is very personal and inward-looking music, despite the large number of participants. By performance end, you get the sense that Mahler has spoken directly to you, through Chailly and company. Videography and sound recording are simply tops.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

Accentus is rapidly gaining a reputation as a label that puts a premium on high quality videography and this BD is no exception. Director Henning Kasten was clearly attuned to the inherent drama of this work and does a superb jog of capturing the near and far perspective of the performers involved. Detail and color reproduction are tops.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

The Leipzig Gewandhaus is blessed with superb acoustics and they are well captured by the audio engineers here.  The recording is aided by Maestro Chailly’s unerring sense of the wide-ranging dynamics of this piece, allowing so many of the beautiful inner voices to be heard with crystalline clarity. The vocal solos are also well treated.  The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack is the way to hear this music with the ambience channels giving listeners a real sense of the hall in which it was performed.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:0.5/5]

Accentus is not usually generous with extras and, this disc is no exception, containing only trailers for other BDs.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4.5/5]


Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 begins as standard orchestral work and concludes as a religious experience. To create a successful performance, conductor, orchestra, soloists and chorus, must be synergistic and attuned to the many dramatic contrasts within this work. Chailly understands the symphony’s mainsprings like few of his contemporaries and finds his own ascent to the peak of this symphonic mountain. Soprano Christiane Oelze and mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly, both seeming to look heavenward, provide gorgeous and committed vocal contributions, backed by a great chorus. The camera work makes viewers a real part of this experience and the sound recording is as good as it gets in BD-land. The main competition comes from the Claudio Abbado and his Lucerne Festival group.  While this earlier recording has its own points of excellence, the current release trumps it in terms of audio/video properties, better soloists and chorus.  For me, a good Mahler Second will impress you with its performance qualities, a great Mahler second will move your spirit, but a sublime Mathler second will be quite simply, awe-inspiring. Please file this BD under “A” for awe, as did the audience, sitting in stunned silence for a good 30 seconds after its conclusion, before erupting in cheers and applause.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B005HK8KY6[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product]B005HK8KY6[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Gewandhausorchester/Chailly: Mahler 2 -

Purchase Mahler Symphony No. 2 on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4.5/5]
The Performance
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0.5/5]

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