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Mahler: Symphony No. 2 in C Minor "Resurrection" (Arr. B. Walter) Maasa Nakazawa

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Impressive performance of Bruno Walter's "arrangement for piano four hands" of Gustav Mahler's Resurrection Symphony.

Gustav Mahler is without doubt one of the great symphony composers in the history of music. The increased size of the orchestra, his substantial extension of scope and form were more revolutionary than almost anything which came before – with the exception of Beethoven's contribution to the genre. It seems almost impossible for a work as enormous as the "Resurrection Symphony" to be reduced to two pianos. However, for many years transcriptions of this kind for piano(s) were the only way to bring new music into people's living rooms. Bruno Walter, who wrote a transcription of the symphony for piano for four hands in 1898, was very familiar with the original work: he was Mahler's assistant at the Hamburg and later the Vienna Opera. The (16 years older) composer was therefore something of a mentor to the young composer. Walter's later recordings of Mahler's symphonies are still regarded today as discographical milestones in classical music. Maasa Nakazawa and Suhrud Athavale, two of the most talented students at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna, play Walter's "arrangement for piano four hands" of Symphony No. 2 in c Minor with great feeling for the transparency of the score. They don't attempt to recreate the sound of the original symphony on two pianos, but instead with a fine, restrained sound. They create – especially for those who are already familiar with the (orchestral) symphony – a kind of meta-level which illuminates particular details of the work; Bruno Walter's "arrangement for piano four hands" is therefore very understandable in this form. This is a marvellous addition to any Mahler collection.

Salvatore Pichireddu | Jan 27, 2016
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