Mahler: Symphony No. 2 - Gatti

Mahler: Symphony No. 2 - Gatti

RCO live  RCO 17003 (2 discs)

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical - Orchestral

Mahler: Symphony No. 2

Chen Reiss (soprano)
Karen Cargill (mezzo)
Netherlands Radio Choir
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam
Daniele Gatti (conductor)

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DXD recording

Recorded live at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on 18 September 2016

Producer and recording engineer: Everett Porter (Polyhymnia International B.V.)

Recording assistant: Anne Taegert

Editing: Everett Porter and Lauran Jurrius

Recording facility: Polyhymnia International B.V.

Microphones: Neumann en Schoeps with Polyhymnia custom electronics

DXD to DSD: Merging Horus AD converters

Editing and mixing: Merging Technologies Pyramix, monitored on Grimm Audio and B&W Nautilus speakers
Comments (25)

Comment by diw - August 12, 2017 (1 of 25)

Apparently this is the start of another RCO Mahler cycle?

Comment by lmz - August 12, 2017 (2 of 25)

Because of the history between this orchestra and the composer? And because every chief since Haitink has done so?

Comment by Waveform - August 13, 2017 (3 of 25)

Yes, this is a start of another RCO Live Mahler cycle. Here's the description notes once more:

"The names of Gustav Mahler and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra are inseparable. Willem Mengelberg's pioneering work and Mahler's own guest performances with the orchestra have laid the foundations for the Dutch Mahler cult and the RCO's Mahler tradition that flourished ever since. During the past years, Daniele Gatti has conducted strong and spectacular performances of four Mahler symphonies as a guest conductor. After the Fifth, Ninth, Sixth and Third, Gatti's first Mahler symphony as chief conductor was the Second Symphony.
This recording marks the start of a new RCO Live Mahler cycle with Daniele Gatti".

Beside this Bruckner's 4th will follow later on this year.

Comment by Adrian Quanjer - August 13, 2017 (4 of 25)

Because Gatti hasn’t got his Mahler cycle anywhere else yet? And what better chance than to record it with one of the world’s leading orchestras? It seems that 5 is already in the offing. I assume they will all be (or have been) recorded from ‘live’ with Polyhymnia ‘in house’ recording equipment. On Thursday 24 August 2017 number 4 goes live in Amsterdam. Don’t we have a member from the RCO PR Department who can enlighten us? Whet your appetite here:

(Luukas, Hadn't seen your comment, wasn't on my screen when publishing this one.)

Comment by fausto kantiano - August 13, 2017 (5 of 25)

we don't need yet another Mahler cycle, and certainly don't need Bruckner from Gatti

Comment by Adrian Quanjer - August 13, 2017 (6 of 25)

We will certainly have many more mahler's in the years ahead. Just like Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms etc. ( eh .. and Bruckner). Such is life, such is music. 'L'Embarras du choix', we call it over here. Maybe we should listen to it first.

Comment by Waveform - August 13, 2017 (7 of 25)

It is true we may not need another Mahler's 2nd on SACD but what we certainly need is the composer's unfinished 10th Symphony in its full form (Cooke). There is no MCH album in-hires and the stereo option (Mahler: Symphony No. 10 - Inbal) is not what everybody may wish for. You might be interested to know Sydney Symphony is planning to release their recording of the work with Thomas Dausgaard on SACD - MCH 96/24 FLAC download is already available at Primephonic.

Comment by fausto kantiano - August 13, 2017 (8 of 25)

There is also Sieghart's recording of Mahler: Symphony No. 10 - Sieghart (though it is in the newest version of the score), which is very good (but not cheap for those who want to buy it). Good to hear though that Dausgaard has recorded the 10th for SACD

Comment by Waveform - August 14, 2017 (9 of 25)

Fausto kantiano, I have the Sieghart recording and it is excellent, indeed. I managed to buy it as an used copy through European seller so the shipping costs weren't expensive. What a pity he didn't use Cooke edition as the performance offered deeply moving listening experience.

But speaking about Gatti's Mahler his tempo choices seems to be quite leisurely sometimes, especially in the finale (I. 22'40, II. 10'03, III. 11'11, IV. 5'06 & V. 39'24). If the track includes an applause the total time would be around 38'30. His recording of Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique was horribly slow, IMHO.

Comment by lmz - August 14, 2017 (10 of 25)

Regarding Gatti's tempo choices, I can attest from attending one of the concerts from which this recording is derived to the rather slow tempi in the finale (though the rest of the symphony contained normal tempi). But I would urge all to listen first and not dismiss the recording based on this fact out of hand, as I think the slow tempi in the finale speak well to the symphony's mystical dimension.

Comment by Waveform - August 14, 2017 (11 of 25)

Thank you for your helpful comment, Imz! Klaus Tennstedt conducted the finale in his 1989 live recording (LPO 0044 RBCD) approximately in the same tempo as he calculated it to 38'00. The closing pages of the score were thrilling and the reason why I bought the album.

Comment by lmz - August 14, 2017 (12 of 25)

@Luketsu, indeed, that Tennstedt recording is one of the most thrilling accounts of Mahler 2 on disk!

Comment by diw - August 15, 2017 (13 of 25)

As far as the Mahler Cooke 10, there is a MCH high rez download available for some time from the Seattle Symphony. I purchased it from Acoustic Sounds.

Comment by hiredfox - August 18, 2017 (14 of 25)

The previous Gatti release was recorded in DXD so fingers crossed this will become the recording standard at the RCO now. As near to DSD as we'll get probably at this venue.

Comment by lmz - August 23, 2017 (15 of 25)

Regarding DXD, it seems that our prayers have indeed been heard:

"all four of the concerts (and rehearsals) will be used for a CD production, plus extra tracks were recorded with height information for a future 3D surround mix. Mahler 2 is a monster piece with a huge orchestra, choir, soloists, organ and offstage instruments in no less than 6 locations, so 40 channels of DXD were recorded"

Source (interesting read!):

Comment by Waveform - August 23, 2017 (16 of 25)

Thank you for your interesting reply, Imz! I assume Bruckner's 4th was also recorded in DXD.

Here is a short video sample of this (Mahler) concert, filmed by Medici TV:

Comment by hiredfox - October 28, 2017 (17 of 25)

Strangely, NativeDSD say this was recorded in DSD whereas we have confirmation of DXD origins.

Comment by hiredfox - November 5, 2017 (18 of 25)

Oh dear, what a tedious interpretation. This will win few admirers. Even the recording is patchy, sometimes exhilaratingly detailed sometimes just too broad brushed and bland. AS much as I love and support the RCO this is one recording I cannot recommend.

Comment by fausto kantiano - November 6, 2017 (19 of 25)

to hiredfox: precisely what I expected. Gatti is not a man of precision. His recording of Berg's 3 Orch. Pieces with the same forces Berg: Lulu Suite, 3 Orchestral Pieces - Gatti is equally lacking in detail, and hence disappointing (notwithstanding the passion invested). Nothing to compare to recordings of same by Rattle, Abbado and Karajan. (whatever one thinks of Rattle, his 2nd Viennese credentials are clearly in order) I don't expect anything from the Gatti/RCO cooperation in future. Clearly, they hired a showman, rather than a musician (à la Chailly).

Comment by Jan Arell - November 6, 2017 (20 of 25)

I do like Gatti's recordings of Tchaikovsky's symphonies 4-6. Harmonia Mundi, when they still did MC discs.
(Edit: Of course they are not up to the old burningly hot Mravinsky CDs on DG.)

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Also released as KKC5834