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Thread: Mahler Symphony No. 2 "Resurrection" movement V

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    Senior Member Lunasong's Avatar
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    Default Mahler Symphony No. 2 "Resurrection" movement V

    Our chorus began work on the vocal movement tonight for a May performance with the orchestra. I know that many of you are more familiar with this work than I, and may even have performed it. I'd like to keep a rehearsal journal similar to the one I did for Bolcom Prometheus.

    First - I knew it was in German, a language with which I have no familiarity. Tonight was my introduction to the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). Our director handed out scores and two sheets which I'm sure will prove to be very useful. The first was a line-by-line listing of the lyric with the IPA below. Very helpful if I only knew the IPA...oh-now I do (see link). Can review at home.
    The second was the complete lyric with the English translation. Always nice to know what one is singing about.

    The director started rehearsal by explaining the IPA and stating that he knew there were all kinds of German dialect. We are going to sing in Hochdeutsch as confirmed by a pronunciation dictionary he has at the ready to quell any dissention. He started us on spoken pronunciations that were incorrect (unusual tactic, I thought), and worked us toward the correct ones. By the end of rehearsal (they are only 1.25 hours/week through Easter, then will expand to 2.5 hrs) we had completed learning pronunciation on the first three lines, and matched them to the choral music. (measures 472-493). I thought it sounded lovely.

    My goal this week is to review the IPA on the three lines and make sure I thoroughly rehearse the words and part together. Also find a recording and review the piece while looking at the score.
    "To be a musician is a curse. To NOT be one is even worse." Jack Daney

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    Senior Member Meaghan's Avatar
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    I am so jealous that you are singing this symphony. It's one of my dreams, actually, to sing it. Also, I love singing in German. My choir sang several pieces in German last semester and I think it's a beautiful language, maybe because I got to know it through beautiful music. For a recording of Mahler 2, I recommend Bernstein's with the NY Philharmonic.
    opus55, Lunasong, itywltmt and 1 others like this.

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    Senior Member itywltmt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meaghan View Post
    I am so jealous that you are singing this symphony. It's one of my dreams, actually, to sing it. Also, I love singing in German. My choir sang several pieces in German last semester and I think it's a beautiful language, maybe because I got to know it through beautiful music. For a recording of Mahler 2, I recommend Bernstein's with the NY Philharmonic.
    I have chimed in quite a bit on several threads about Mahler's Second - and it's what's on my iPod as we speak... In my book, my favourite Bernstein rendition of Mahler's 2nd isn't his NYP performance, but a more obscure release from 1973 of Bernstein conducting the London Symphony, with Janet Baker singing Ulricht. His approach to the first movement, in particular, is very/very different from the more traditional (Walter, Klemoperer) approach - less brusk and more pensive, more of an interpretation in the true sense of the word. Well worth listening!

    Of course, no offense to Dame Baker, in my book nobody sings Ulricht like Maureen Forrsster, point blank. And as for the Resurrection Hymn, the Klemperer/Concertgebouw (live) is the striongest I've heard.
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    Senior Member kv466's Avatar
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    I always thought an IPA was an India Pale Ale,...hmmm.

    Anyway,...I hope to learn from this thread as I am in the process of gathering Mahler symphonies to listen to and compare. For now, I'll go with Meagan and Itywltmt and check out Bernie with both orchestras.
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    Senior Member itywltmt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kv466 View Post
    I always thought an IPA was an India Pale Ale,...hmmm.

    Anyway,...I hope to learn from this thread as I am in the process of gathering Mahler symphonies to listen to and compare. For now, I'll go with Meagan and Itywltmt and check out Bernie with both orchestras.

    KV - I'd check out the Klemperer recordings (Concertgebouw live and Philharmonia in studio). He was an assistant under Mahler in one of the early performances of the Symphony, so you have to think he conveys some of the composer's vision in his interpretation... The Philharmonia recording was re-issued and remastered as part of the "Great Recordings of the 20th Century" series by EMI. I also read in other like-threads that Mehta/Wiener Philharmoniker is worth a listen.
    kv466 likes this.

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    Senior Member itywltmt's Avatar
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    Speaking of the Phonetic Alphabet, I'd be curious to see what that looks like - in my business, we have a phonetic alphabet and it goes like this:

    Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, Golf, Hotel, India, July, Kilo, Lima, Mike, November, Oscar, Papa, Quebec, Romeo, Sierra, Tango, Uniform, Victor, Whiskey, Yankee, Zulu.

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    Senior Member Lunasong's Avatar
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    Thanks to everyone for your encouraging words and your suggestions. Coincidentally, I heard the recent performance of Mahler 2 by the Berlin Phil/Rattle @ Carnegie Hall twice on Monday night (radio) on Performance Today http://performancetoday.publicradio....y=12&year=2012 and immediately followed by Symphonycast http://symphonycast.publicradio.org/
    I've used this YT clip for practice this past week because it conveniently starts right at the vocals.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZGnN...rNxTW7ExgXwGQ&

    Last night's rehearsal was much like the previous week's. We worked on measures 517-536, first practicing by speaking the parts and then singing. Once again, we initially did just about every variant of incorrect pronunciation our director could think of, then learned the correct way. There must be method to this madness.

    We were encouraged to write the English words in our scores so that we would know the meaning of the words while we were singing them.
    "To be a musician is a curse. To NOT be one is even worse." Jack Daney

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    Senior Member Jeremy Marchant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by itywltmt View Post
    Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, Golf, Hotel, India, July, Kilo, Lima, Mike, November, Oscar, Papa, Quebec, Romeo, Sierra, Tango, Uniform, Victor, Whiskey, Yankee, Zulu.
    And we have:
    'Orses, Mutton, Miles, Ential, Brick, Vescence, Get It, Bless You, The Engine, Oranges, Restaurant, Leather, Sis', Lope, Relief , A Bus, Mo', Rantzen, Two, Me, La France, The Winnings, Breakfast, Husband, Wind

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    Senior Member Vaneyes's Avatar
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    I admire Suitner's Mahler 2 for its lean interpretation (1 CD), drama, forceful attacks and climaxes, and effortless transitions. Not to mention the impressive playing and recorded sound. One of my CPRs (certified perfect recordings).

    51O6xlFOJbL._SL500_AA300_.jpg
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    Senior Member DrMike's Avatar
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    I will dissent a bit and recommend the live Klemperer recording of the 2nd, also on EMI, but with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra (Sinfonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks) - also with Janet Baker. Her solo for the "Urlicht" is heavenly. I like Lennie's DG recording, as well as Mehta's - both fine, and you can't go wrong - but Klemperer is magical here. Some may prefer the studio version with Schwarzkopf, but I think this live version is about the best I have heard - and as this is my favorite of all symphonies, I have at least a dozen different recordings.

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    Senior Member Lunasong's Avatar
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    Thank you for the additional suggestions.

    As it is spring break and rehearsals are led by a college prof, we had "rehearsal lite" last night. We completed the piece by singing on "Du" and working on pitches. In doing so, I discovered the amazing voice ranges which Mahler has written into this piece (corrections accepted if not quite right).

    Soprano: A flat 3 > B flat 5
    Alto: F3 > G5
    Tenor: D3 > B flat 4
    Bass: B flat 1 > F 4

    Per Wiki: The B-flat below the bass clef occurs four times in the choral bass part: three at the chorus' hushed entrance and again on the words "Hör' auf zu beben". It is the lowest vocal note in standard classical repertoire. Mahler instructs basses incapable of singing the note remain silent rather than sing the note an octave higher.
    "To be a musician is a curse. To NOT be one is even worse." Jack Daney

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    Senior Member Lunasong's Avatar
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    No rehearsal tonight (cancelled), but our director forwarded to us via email spoken mp3 files of the German pronunciations for the entire piece. Ain't technology a wonderful thing? I've been sitting here playing the sound files and working my way through the piece writing down what I hope will be helpful hints.
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    "To be a musician is a curse. To NOT be one is even worse." Jack Daney

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    Senior Member Lunasong's Avatar
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    I missed last week's rehearsal which must have been an intensive primer in German. Based upon last night, I'm really going to need to step up my practice at home. Maestro comes to rehearsal next week!

    I was talking to the principal horn of the orchestra over the weekend. He says they are going to use 9 horns. He gets to recommend who to call and final say on the picks (our orchestra has 5 horns on roster). He is quite enthusiastic and looking forward to playing this piece.
    "To be a musician is a curse. To NOT be one is even worse." Jack Daney

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meaghan View Post
    I am so jealous that you are singing this symphony. It's one of my dreams, actually, to sing it. Also, I love singing in German. My choir sang several pieces in German last semester and I think it's a beautiful language, maybe because I got to know it through beautiful music. For a recording of Mahler 2, I recommend Bernstein's with the NY Philharmonic.
    Bernstein is indeed spirited in his reading of this magnificent symphony's conclusion. Do lend an ear to Zubin Mehta with the Vienna Philharmonic in his 1975 recording. It is great.

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    Senior Member Lunasong's Avatar
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    I was practicing earlier today so deserve a bonus post.

    Mahler completed what would become the first movement of the symphony in 1888 as a single-movement symphonic poem called Totenfeier (Death Celebration). Some sketches for the second movement also date from that year. Mahler wavered five years on whether to make Totenfeier the opening movement of a symphony. In 1893, he composed the second and third movements. The finale was the problem. Mahler knew he wanted a vocal final movement. Finding the right text for this movement proved long and perplexing.

    When Mahler took up his appointment at the Hamburg Opera in 1891, he found the other important conductor there to be Hans von Bülow, who was in charge of the city’s symphony concerts. Bülow, not known for his generosity, was impressed by Mahler. Bülow’s death in 1894 greatly affected Mahler. At the funeral, Mahler heard a setting of Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock’s Die Auferstehung (The Resurrection). “It struck me like lightning, this thing,” he wrote to conductor Anton Seidl,” and everything was revealed to me clear and plain.” Mahler used the first two verses of Klopstock’s hymn, then added verses of his own that dealt more explicitly with redemption and resurrection. He finished the finale and revised the orchestration of the first movement in 1894, then inserted the song Urlicht (Primal Light) as the penultimate movement. This song was probably written in 1892 or 1893.

    Mahler devised a narrative programme for the work, which he told to a number of friends. In this programme, the first movement represents a funeral and asks questions such as “Is there life after death?”; the second movement is a remembrance of happy times in the life of the deceased; the third movement represents a view of life as meaningless activity; the fourth movement is a wish for release from life without meaning; and the fifth movement – after a return of the doubts of the third movement and the questions of the first – ends with a fervent hope for everlasting, transcendent renewal, a theme that Mahler would ultimately transfigure into the music of his sublime Das Lied von der Erde.


    Fifth Movement
    Original German
    Aufersteh’n, ja aufersteh’n
    Wirst du, Mein Staub,
    Nach kurzer Ruh’!
    Unsterblich Leben! Unsterblich Leben
    wird der dich rief dir geben!
    Wieder aufzublüh’n wirst du gesät!
    Der Herr der Ernte geht
    und sammelt Garben
    uns ein, die starben!
    O glaube, mein Herz, o glaube:
    Es geht dir nichts verloren!
    Dein ist, ja dein, was du gesehnt!
    Dein, was du geliebt,
    Was du gestritten!
    O glaube
    Du wardst nicht umsonst geboren!
    Hast nicht umsonst gelebt, gelitten!
    Was entstanden ist
    Das muß vergehen!
    Was vergangen, auferstehen!
    Hör’ auf zu beben!
    Bereite dich zu leben!
    O Schmerz! Du Alldurchdringer!
    Dir bin ich entrungen!
    O Tod! Du Allbezwinger!
    Nun bist du bezwungen!
    Mit Flügeln, die ich mir errungen,
    In heißem Liebesstreben,
    Werd’ich entschweben
    Zum Licht, zu dem kein Aug’gedrungen!
    Mit Flügeln, die ich mir errungen
    Werde ich entschweben.
    Sterben werd’ich, um zu leben!
    Aufersteh’n, ja aufersteh’n
    wirst du, mein Herz, in einem Nu!
    Was du geschlagen
    zu Gott wird es dich tragen!

    In English
    Rise again, yes, rise again,
    Will you My dust,
    After a brief rest!
    Immortal life! Immortal life
    Will He who called you, give you.
    To bloom again were you sown!
    The Lord of the harvest goes
    And gathers in, like sheaves,
    Us together, who died.
    O believe, my heart, O believe:
    Nothing to you is lost!
    Yours is, yes yours, is what you desired
    Yours, what you have loved
    What you have fought for!
    O believe,
    You were not born for nothing!
    Have not for nothing, lived, suffered!
    What was created
    Must perish,
    What perished, rise again!
    Cease from trembling!
    Prepare yourself to live!
    O Pain, You piercer of all things,
    From you, I have been wrested!
    O Death, You masterer of all things,
    Now, are you conquered!
    With wings which I have won for myself,
    In love’s fierce striving,
    I shall soar upwards
    To the light which no eye has penetrated!
    Its wing that I won is expanded,
    and I fly up.
    Die shall I in order to live.
    Rise again, yes, rise again,
    Will you, my heart, in an instant!
    That for which you suffered,
    To God will it lead you!

    source: http://orlandophil.org/resurrection-symphony/
    Last edited by Lunasong; Apr-28-2012 at 23:40.
    tahnak and Vaneyes like this.
    "To be a musician is a curse. To NOT be one is even worse." Jack Daney

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