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Mahler: Symphony No 2 (Arr. for Small Orchestra) / Kaplan, Vienna Chamber Orchestra

Release Date: 02/11/2014 
Label:  Avie   Catalog #: 2290  
Composer:  Gustav Mahler
Conductor:  Gilbert Kaplan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Chamber Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Gilbert Kaplan is one of today’s most authoritative and acclaimed interpreters of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, having conducted the work at the invitation of more than 65 orchestras. His 1987 recording with the London Symphony Orchestra is the best-selling Mahler recording in history, with sales approaching 200,000 copies. It was named one of The New York Times’ “Records of the Year.” A second recording, with the Vienna Philharmonic, based on the New Critical Edition of the score for which Kaplan served as co-editor, was released in 2003 on DG. With sales of almost 50,000 copies, it is the best-selling recording of Mahler’s Second since the date of its release. Now, with his third recording, based on a live performance at the Konzerthaus in Read more Vienna, Kaplan is set to make history once again – not only capturing the imagination of his vast worldwide followers, but also providing an opportunity for chamber, community and regional opera orchestras to perform this work which normally requires more than 100 musicians (there are only 56 musicians performing on this recording). His recording with the Vienna Chamber Symphony sets the benchmark.

While reducing the instrumentation, Kaplan and his co-arranger Rob Mathes remain faithful to Mahler’s musical intentions and orchestral colours. They take a page, of sorts, out of Mahler’s book – the composer made numerous arrangements himself, often adding (rather than subtracting) instruments to symphonic staples by Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Schumann. In another nod to history, the Kaplan/Mathes chamber arrangement recalls Schoenberg’s scaled down versions of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde and Symphony No. 4. - Avie



Gilbert Kaplan's musical career was almost entirely devoted to performing Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 2 in C minor, "Resurrection," and an arrangement of the work for small orchestra is used for his third major release of the work. For this 2014 CD on Avie, Kaplan leads the Wiener KammerOrchester with soprano Marlis Petersen, mezzo-soprano Janina Baechle, and the Wiener Singakademie, and even though the orchestra is about half the size of Mahler's intended forces, it doesn't sound especially thin or depleted. In terms of volume, the Wiener KammerOrchester may not be as shattering as a full orchestra, but the climaxes work in proportion to the orchestra's size, so that's not really much of an issue. What's more germane is that Mahler's chamber-like writing carries over into this version with little change, and since the bulk of the symphony is transparently scored, no harm comes to the music in this reduction. In terms of the interpretation, Kaplan's choices of tempo and pacing are rather straightforward and conventional, and he has conducted this work so many times, it's safe to say that he gets the results he wants.

– All Music Guide (Blair Sanderson) Read less

Works on This Recording

Symphony no 2 in C minor "Resurrection" by Gustav Mahler
Conductor:  Gilbert Kaplan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Chamber Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888/1896; Germany 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Interesting, but... March 3, 2017 By James A R. (Oak Ridge, TN) See All My Reviews "I got this to see if it would be a good version for our local orchestra to play. But a "small" Resurrection is not very convincing, and I have always been imprinted on Bruno Walter's performance of this work. I just do not like Kaplan's performances of it very much (I now own 3 of them)." Report Abuse
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