ESSENTIAL RECORDINGS
GUSTAV MAHLER - SYMPHONY NO. 2


GUSTAV MAHLER - SYMPHONY NO. 2 "RESURRECTION" - LEONARD BERNSTEIN (Conductor) - BARBARA HENDRICKS (Soprano) - CHRISTA LUDWIG (Contralto) THE WESTMINSTER CHOIR - NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA - Deutsche Grammophon 4233952

Bernstein in his element, at his best, doing what he was born to do, that is conducting a performance of a Mahler symphony that delves into the deepest, darkest pits of sorrow and death one moment, and climbs to the highest, most ecstatic peaks of life affirming joy and radiance the next.

This recording from 1987 was captured live, and I assume that Bernstein must have told the choir members beforehand to sing like their lives depended on it, because I have never heard such a powerful, gripping, uplifting account of the last section of the last movement. One of those rare moments in music where you can feel yourself hovering 10 feet above the ground. Unreal!

Jean-Yves Duperron