HD Radio Classical 90.9 WGUC Jazz on WGUC HD2
Listen Online
What's Playing
Program Schedule
Support WGUC
Sponsorships & Advertising
Community Calendar
Cincinnati Spotlight

WGUC Reviews
WGUC Events
90.9 Store

Classics for Kids
90-Second Naturalist
Corbett Studio
91.7 WVXU
About Us
Contact Us

WGUC Reviews

Mahler: Symphony No. 2

Mahler: Symphony No. 2
Vienna Philharmonic
Pierre Boulez conducting
Review by: Robert Zierolf

Gustav Mahler's Second Symphony ("Resurrection") was first recorded in 1924, and one wouldn't need to look hard to find a dozen discs since. It might be that this symphony, with its huge forces and potent psychological difficulties, has never been (can never be?) recorded definitively despite the valid attempts by the likes of Abbado, Mehta, Gielen, Klemperer, Bernstein, Rattle, Tennstedt, and others to understand Mahler's complex psyche, then present it via music.

Boulez's with the Vienna Philharmonic is by itself disappointing, though I sense that the orchestra was not responding fully to the aging maestro. Mahler's symphonies do not "play themselves," perhaps with the exception of his first. If local culture and location mean anything, it is puzzling that the Vienna Philharmonic presents such a tepid performance.

Mahler challenged orchestras like no other composer; he deserves better from his home city. So why bother with this disc? The reason is to listen with retrospect on recordings by Mehta, Gielen, and Tennstedt, in particular Abbado's with Chicago, as well as to try once again to believe in this monstrous, marvelous symphony. Uncommonly good liner notes by Henry-Louis de la Grange add value.


Sound Quality:

Robert Zierolf is Professor of Music Theory and History and Division head of Composition, Musicology, and Theory at the College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati. He is also a freelance writer on classical music.


Listen Online

Windows Media

Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter or our daily playlist!

Keep Classical Music Alive
WGUC 90.9 FM | 1223 Central Parkway | Cincinnati, OH 45214-2890 • (513) 241-8282
©2015 Cincinnati Public Radio, Inc. All rights reserved. | Contact Us
Make your contribution online
Become a Sustaining Member
Update Your Information
Text 2 Give
Gifts of Stock
Donating Vehicles
Planned Giving
Joseph-Beth Gives Back Program
Protect My Public Media
On-Air Hosts
Our Staff
Our Underwriters
E-News Publications
Award-Winning Productions
Mission Statement
Our Board of Directors
Our Community Board
Jobs at Cincinnati Public Radio
EEO Statement
eTech Ohio
Privacy Policy
Cincinnati Public Radio's Revenues and Expenditures
What's Playing
Listen Online
Purchase CDs
BBB Accredited Charity