Symphony No.2 in C minor ('Resurrection')
Gustav Mahler

74

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The second highest of Mahler's 5 entries in the Ultimate Hall of Fame. This reached its highest position of number 56 in 2000.

Not content with stretching the orchestra to its limit, Mahler clearly fancied a challenge when composing his Symphony No. 2 in the late 1800s. His triumphant symphonic debut, the Titan, had called for many more instruments than was the norm, so for his follow-up he decided to go one step further. The gargantuan symphony orchestra would remain, but alongside it was placed an organ, an offstage brass ensemble, and some church bells.

And a choir. A very large choir.

And, to round things off, some soloists. It's little wonder that, whenever the Resurrection Symphony is performed, it's the only work on the programme.

The Resurrection of Christ by Paolo Veronese (c.1570).