Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mahler Symphony No. 2 "Resurrection"

At a function last weekend, I met a violinist master's student here in Boulder who performed a Bach's sonata prior to dinner. I was asked by her of my favourite composer. That has always been a difficult question for me: for I do not really have a favourite book or music or something or someone - it has always been a basket of talents which I liked - and this is evident in my list of favourite things in my Facebook - I have never seen someone with such a long list. Anyway ...

Having a history of being an orchestral player in a symphony orchestra for a couple of years back in Singapore, I told her that my favourite orchestral composer is Gustav Mahler. She further asked me the reasons for my liking him - and my response to her was that I love composers from the Romantic era and that Mahler's symphonic sounds were big, huge - and I dream that one day I will be playing his work. My favourite symphony is his Symphony No. 2 aka "The Resurrection". It is unfortunate that this piece was never conducted by my favourite conductor in the field, the legendary Herbert von Karajan, so you will have to settle with his successor at the Berliner Philharmoniker, Simon Rattle (who succeeded Claudio Abbado during the orchestral's tumultuous years) conducting the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. It is a long symphony and this clip does not do justice to understand and feel "The Resurrection". You will have to listen to it completely in its original form :)

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