Here's yet another maddening Mahler 5th; one in which much fine playing on the part of the London Symphony, gets undermined by one truly huge but dumb interpretive decision on the part of Jame DePriest. Towards the end of the finale, DePriest puts on the brakes too soon before the reprise of the second movement's big brass chorale theme - the main theme of the entire symphony. Mahler, as it turns out, doesn't ask for any kind of ritard until you get to the main body of that chorale, which is located seven bars after rehearsal figure 33. Here, he simply writes: Pesante (etwas gehalten). "Etwas gehalten" means, "somewhat held back" (tempo wise, not dynamics). De Priest, instead, does a sizeable ritard some 22 bars before the spot that Mahler actually calls for one. For me, this completely softens the main point of the entire symphony, which is that that the dark forces that dominate the first half of the symphony (in minor) are defeated by the forces of light (in Major, naturally) in the second half. Too bad because much of what happens before hand is really good. In particular, the horns, both corporate and solo, are outstanding in the middle movement scherzo; and so too the strings in the famous Adagietto movement that follows. While the second movement gets off to a somewhat perfunctory start - with De Priest losing tempo over the first 90 seconds or so - it really comes to life during the last five minutes, where the music turns fast and intense. All of this suggests great promise for the finale, but De Priest pulls the rug out from underneath everything instead. Blame it on today's, "gotta to do something different" interpretive climate. Conductors have to realize that when they deviate from any given score in a major way, what they do has to enhance the work at hand - not detract or subtract from it. Fans of the LSO will be very pleased with the job they do here. But please, no full Mahler cycle from James DePriest, thank you.