Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 2 is the first of Mahler's symphonies to
introduce voices - soprano, alto and chorus - into the orchestral texture,
and the first to refer explicitly to his songs based on "Des Knaben
Wunderhorn." This it shares with the symphonies Nos. 3 and 4 as well, which
stamps it as the first part of a trilogy. Mahler worked on it from 1888 to
1894 and conducted the first performance in Berlin on 13 December 1895.
Leonard Bernstein was the first conductor ever to record all of Mahler's
symphonies not only on disk, but also on video.
The Mahler cycle was the first project in the more than 20-year-long
association between Leonard Bernstein and Unitel. The leading Mahler
interpreter of our time, Bernstein recorded all of Mahler's symphonies
between 1971 and 1985, chiefly with the Vienna Philharmonic, producing a
unique musical document and triggering a major re-appreciation of