Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 – “Resurrection”


“What is life and what is death? Why did you live? Why did you suffer? … Do our life and death have a meaning? … Whoever hears this call must give a reply. And this reply I give in my last movement.” Thus Mahler guides us to the meaning of his stirring Second Symphony, a work with a beautiful, consoling message. The Finale is a combination of thunderous, apocalyptic outbursts, brass fanfares heard off stage, as well as quieter moments; and then, out of nowhere, a hushed chorus intones the ecstatic Resurrection Ode, as solo voices soar, singing of forgiveness, divine compassion and eternal life: “You shall rise again, rise again/My heart, in an instant./What you have conquered/Shall carry you to God!” Whatever your concept of heaven, this is Paradise in music!