Oh give me a break -- what a bunch of sanctimonious claptrap! Karajan paid for his podium with a "Heil Hitler" here and a "Sieg Heil" there. I much prefer the man who merely pays for his orchestra with honestly earned wealth.....
If it were so easy to conduct great performances of Mahler's 2nd, then every music school graduate would be conducting it as well; and they aren't.
Maybe you're right about about Kaplan being a better person than Karajan. I don't know - I never met either of them. But on a musical level? Can you really compare?
I'm not saying you shouldn't enjoy his cd recordings or performances. If you like them thats great. But the opinion I'm stating is that of 98% of the music industry. He's not a respected musician, because he's only learnt what he really has to know to get him through Mahler 2. He's never even conducted a concerto. Please correct me if I'm wrong (and I'm sure somebody will) but I don't think he even plays a musical instrument. Certainly not to any degree of proficiency.
To think think this all started after I said I preferred Walter to Kaplan. And I stand by that. You can study the score and research all you want - Walter was Mahler's assistant and for a while at least his friend and heard him conduct many performances. There's no substitute for first hand experience.
I have to say I'm a little shocked at the level of vitriole leveled at me by some people here. So I'm not going to post anymore on this particular subject. I think everyone has made their points of view clear. In my personal opinion a much more interesting modern Mahlerian is Benjamin Zander. If you like his music making it's worth checking out his book The Art of Possibility - for those who have read it, Don't forget rule number 6! (And include myself in that).