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Notes and Editorial Reviews
OF LOVE, DEATH AND BEYOND: Exploring Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony A full-length documentary journey into the music and personal drama that resulted in Gustave Mahler’s prophetic and exhilarating Second Symphony. When composing the work, Mahler addressed the core questions of the meaning of life and of death. As the film shows, Mahler developed his own rich responses to these questions that do not correspond to established dogmas. Shot on location in Austria, Germany, Italy, and the United States, Of Love, Death and Beyond includes historical reenactments and interviews with many of the world’s most respected Mahler scholars, as well as noted philosophers and theologians. Weaving through the documentary is a critically acclaimed
performance of the Symphony produced especially for the film, featuring Neeme Järvi conducting an all-star Orchestra composed of musicians from the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony, and Detroit Symphony. The large forces also include the renowned New York Choral Artists, and soloists Twyla Robinson and Susanne Mentzer. Narrated by Thomas Hampson. Subtitles in English, French, German, and Italian.
• Thomas Hampson sings “Des Antonius von Padua Fischpredigt” (from Des Knaben Wunderhorn)
• Neuer Knabenchor, Hamburg perform “Die Auferstehung” (Klopstock)
*Special deluxe two-disc set includes the complete performance of the Symphony.
Color, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound / Dolby 2.0 Stereo, 88 minutes, 16.9 Widescreen, All regions
Works on This Recording
Symphony no 2 in C minor "Resurrection" by Gustav Mahler
Susanne Mentzer (Mezzo Soprano),
Twyla Robinson (Soprano)
New York Choral Artists,
Philadelphia Orchestra members,
Riverside Church Choir New York
Written: 1888/1896; Germany
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Essential for every Mahler collection. January 3, 2012
By ROBERT STIEFEL (Dover, NH) See All My Reviews
"This superb film offers an in-depth study of Mahler's 2nd Symphony from its conception to its completion. The involvement of a generous number of outstanding musicians and scholars (musicologists, philosophers, theologians) and the narration by Thomas Hampson beyond doubt recommend this DVD. The re-enactments of incidents in Mahler's life are carefully done, and the High Definition cinematography is stunningly beautiful. The recorded sound is beyond reproach. As a fan and student of the works of Mahler for over fifty years, I cannot recommend this film and the related concert performance too highly.
This special edition of 2 DVDs includes the complete performance of the symphony in New York City's Riverside Church (visually and acoustically perfect for this work) by an orchestra of musicians especially brought together from the New York Philharmonic, the Detroit Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and other orchestras and assembled first-rate choruses from the NYC area. There are many passages excerpted in the film as examples, but you will want to hear / see this remarkable performance in its entirety.
If you already have "enough" excellent performances of the Mahler 2nd on DVD (there really aren't that many...), the alternative single disc edition (also available at ArchivMusic) will satisfy you. Although I own the Bernstein and Chailly DVDs, I bought the complete set, and I am totally delighted. No matter how many CD recordings you may have of the 2nd, I think I can safely predict that you will benefit from the purchase of this set. Having recently completed the reading of a major biography of Mahler and a project of listening to all of the symphonies, I still garnered new information and insights from this film.