Mahler: Symphony No. 2

This is turning out to be one of the truly great Mahler sets.
The Sunday Times, 2 April 2023

Christiane Karg, Elizabeth Kulman
Prague Philharmonic Choir
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Semyon Bychkov, conductor


After critically-acclaimed recordings of Mahler’s Fourth and Fifth Symphony, the Czech Philharmonic and Semyon Bychkov continue their Pentatone Mahler cycle with a rendition of the composer’s Second, nicknamed “The Resurrection”. They are joined by soprano Christiane Karg, alto Elisabeth Kulman and the Prague Philharmonic Choir. Starting with a funeral march, passing through the introspective alto song “Urlicht” and ending in choral bliss and euphoria, Mahler’s Second is a deeply spiritual and personal contemplation on the secret of life and the possibility of overcoming death. For Bychkov, the symphony “shows the life cycle in all its struggles: suffering, joy, irony, humour, love and doubt.”

The Czech Philharmonic is one of the world’s most acclaimed orchestras, with a rich tradition of performing Czech masters and music from Central Europe. Semyon Bychkov has led the greatest orchestras of the world, and is Chief Conductor and Music Director of the Czech Philharmonic as of the 2018/2019 season. Orchestra and maestro released recordings of Mahler’s Fourth and Fifth Symphony (both 2022) on Pentatone, kicking off a complete Mahler cycle. Elisabeth Kulman has participated on several Pentatone releases, while Christiane Karg makes her Pentatone debut.


Mahler: Symphony No. 2 ‘Resurrection’ 
I. Allegro maestoso. Mit durchaus ernstem und feierlichem Ausdruck
II. Andante moderato. Sehr gemächlich
III. In ruhig fließender Bewegung
IV. “Urlicht”. Sehr feierlich aber schlicht
Va. Im Tempo des Scherzos. Wild herausfahrend – Maestoso. Sehr zuruckhaltend
Vb. “Aufersteh’n, ja aufersteh’n wirst du”. Langsam, misterioso – “O glaube, mein Herz, o glaube”. Etwas bewegter