Notes and Editorial Reviews
"Last night was a celebration. A big celebration. I don't remember when last the Israeli orchestra played as it did last night, from the point of view of quality of the tone. Levine is a mighty virtuoso of the orchestral tone. The orchestra is a tool in his hands, and he produces music from it that is at the level of the world's greatest orchestras. I don't remember music so transparent, clear and precise. Instruments did not play, but whispered, sang, spoke, thundered. And everything was so controlled, without any hysterical emotional outbreaks. All the beauty, all the drama, all the poetry of the 90 minute long second symphony were spread out like a multicolored carpet, in a thousand hot colors and narrow, tacit lines. I don't
remember an Israeli choir ever singing in whispers, as the three choirs that participated in the performance sang together last night. And Christa Ludwig was also with them, a singer with the presence of a queen - no longer at her peak, 65 years old, and the power of her singing is no longer what it was, but the presence, the personality and the beauty of her voice added to the celebration. The moment when Ludwig's voice was heard in Urlicht ('first light' in the fourth section) will not be forgotten: the human warmth and depth of expression raised the great performance of the symphony another level. Mahler's second symphony, with its sorrows, its cries and the dances of happiness, as delicate as lace - saw an outstanding performance last night, rare in its beauty. The Israel Philharmonic was at one of its peaks."
This is a review of the concert, written by Nathan Dunevich, the then music critic for the Israeli daily newspaper 'Ha'aretz', subsequently included in his book 'Maestro'.
Works on This Recording
Symphony no 2 in C minor "Resurrection" by Gustav Mahler
Barbara Kilduff (Soprano),
Christa Ludwig (Mezzo Soprano)
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,
National Choir Rinat,
Written: 1888/1896; Germany
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