Monday, 11 January 2010


After my grumble last week about the lack of Mahler available on SACD, I notice that the Chicago Symphony own label has finally embraced the technology and released an SACD Mahler 2 with Bernard Haitink. Judging by the Urlicht on the cover CD of this month’s Gramophone, it could be something special. It’s probably fairly ponderous, if Haitink’s track record is anything to go by, but as Simon Rattle has repeatedly shown, there is nothing wrong with a steady pace when it comes to Mahler 2.

Speaking of which, an article by Tom Service in today’s Guardian gives a run-down of ‘Must-have Mahler’ recordings. Rattle’s 1987 2nd Symphony account is there, and I’d certainly agree that it is a must-have. A nod to Bernstein is inevitable in such exercises, and Service has plumped for the Vienna Philharmonic 5th recording. While I would grudgingly agree, I can’t help the feeling that his 1963 2nd Symphony with the New York Philharmonic would have shown his Mahlerian talents to better effect. And then put Zinman in for the 5th?– that’s a must-have too.

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