The more I consider John's words, the more thought-provoking they become.
Some people may, of course, consider them simply wrong and that a first-class modern recording, capturing a live concert's sound to the fullest possible extent, can indeed replicate its impact.
Others may agree with John - but, if so, what is it about being at a live performance that makes it a superior way to hear a piece like Mahler 2? Is the sound "better" in some way (how?) than what can be reproduced at home? Is it, perhaps, that the visual dimension brings another of our five senses into play and so augments the overall experience? Or maybe the difference is predominantly psychological, in that it somehow seems inappropriate (and lacking,as we might put it, in "atmosphere"?) to listen to something as awe-inspiring and heaven-storming as Mahler's second in the confines of an 18'x15' suburban sitting room, even if you do so with your eyes closed and your imagination switched on?
Assuming too, for one or more of those reasons or for any other, that John is correct, is his suggestion applicable only to works on the largest scale (Mahler 2 or 8, Bruckner 8, the Alpine Symphony, etc.) or can it also apply to compositions on a smaller scale too?
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