Ten inspiring pieces of music 1: Mahler’s 2nd Symphony

I’ve been asked on Facebook to nominate a piece of ‘inspirational’ music each day for ten days. I’d been thinking about doing something like this here anyway so here goes.

My first piece is the finale from Mahler’s 2nd Symphony, ‘The Resurrection’. The symphony as a whole is an hour and a half long and takes you on quite an emotional journey, all of which ends suddenly in the hushed quiet of an unaccompanied choir singing about your imminent death and eventual resurrection.

Why do I find it inspirational? Well just listen to the end and you’ll see – or hear – why.

You can’t come away from this feeling anything but uplifted – but you have to go through all the emotions to get there. The choir starts off mournful, almost inaudible – but by the end you’ve got the massed choir and orchestra ringing in your ears.

Trust me. If you’re not moved by this there’s something wrong with you. Turn it up. (If you want to skip to the bit where it all pays off, it starts around 14 minutes in, but that’s like skipping the main course to get to the pudding.)

Never fails.

Click the image below to purchase my favourite recording of this, by Simon Rattle and the CBSO. I was fortunate enough to hear him conduct this in Birmingham about 15 years ago. It’s a great work, and a great performance.

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