Mahler: Symphony No 5
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|1. Symphony No. 5 in C sharp minor: Part One, Movement I: Trauermarsch. In gemessenem Schritt. Streng. Wie ein Kondukt|
|2. Symphony No. 5 in C sharp minor: Movement II: Stürmisch bewegt. Mit größter Vehemenz|
|3. Symphony No. 5 in C sharp minor: Part Two, Movement III: Scherzo. Kräftig, nicht zu schnell|
|4. Symphony No. 5 in C sharp minor: Part Three, Movement IV: Adagietto. Sehr langsam|
|5. Symphony No. 5 in C sharp minor: Movement V: Rondo - Finale. Allegro|
Mahler's Symphony in C sharp famously takes an hour and ten minutes to shift up a semitone. More importantly, the Fifth marks Mahler's departure from the literal, programmatic scheme, moving towards the non-conceptual. Nevertheless, it hosts a complex inner drama. Drawing a clear distinction between the dramatic tragedy of the first two movements and the almost over-optimistic Wunderhorn-like feel of the rest, Chailly and the Concertgebow's approach is broad, warm and benevolent. The "Ländler and Waltz" Scherzo really does sound like a Viennese Waltz, and its ominous horn obligato is forcefully played. The horn and brass sections are phenomenal throughout. In the "Adagietto" the phrasing does not fulfil the required span and leaves one longing for greater flexibility. The vast finale is definitely the best movement on the recording. In total, a convincing Chailly, and an elegant Concertgebouw on form--perhaps one could ask for a bit more "edge"? Yngvil V. G.
Top Customer Reviews
The rest of the recording is just sensational, with this terrific orchestra negotiating Mahler's extreme demands with a casual virtuosity that I find irresistible. If interpretively speaking, some find Chailly on the "non-neurotic" side, I can't disagree, but then, there are many ways to play this symphony (as well as all the others). Chailly might be faulted for erring on the side of presenting the Fifth as an orchestral showpiece, but to be fair, it *is* one! The famous "Adagietto" is done in an admirably straightforward way, letting the sentiment speak for itself without too much embellishment. If, for example, you like Bernstein's over-emotional reading of this (and I like his, too), you may not warm up to Chailly's somewhat cooler, more flowing version. But again, the emotion is in the score, and it's not necessary to "add" or "find" more -- it's all in there.
The last movement is just a knockout, in terms of the playing and sound quality.Read more ›
Still, it's the most beautifully played, paced and recorded fifth movement I've heard. Incredible detail; if you've got a high-end stereo you'll probably reach for this recording to show off your stuff. The imaging, spaciousness, presence and dynamic range leave little to be desired. It's worth buying to hear the arrival of the chorale after a perfect buildup. The nobly descending trombone line and yelping horns, the timpani resonating ten feet beneath the floor, and the melting, devotional way the brass players sing the chorale -- goosebump material. The *huge* burst of the chorale tune's second phrase, the most effective I've ever heard on CD. It wants to take the roof off my house each time I play it. The breakneck final bars will take your breath away, again with a one-two punch of splendid detail and overwhelming power.
BTW, mvts. 1-3 are equally satisfying...A memorable scherzo, just right in the soft moments, with the wonderful acoustic atmosphere of the Concertgebouw clearly captured. You can sense Chailly really working to sustain tension in mvt. 2, where the accents and dynamic contrasts are played to the hilt. The funeral march is at exactly the right tempo, and rightly sounds here like the single most "Mahlerian" movement of all.
The Amsterdam Concertgebouw is one of the few orchestras (Vienna also) still to enjoy a sound all their own. In a world becoming increasingly homogeneous, this is something to treasure.
Most recent customer reviews
This recording is worth owning for the opening fanfare alone. Crank up the volume and prepare to be shaken to your bones. Read morePublished on July 30 2001 by Alan
Populatiry can be a double-edged sword when it comes to classical music: Orff's "Carmina Burana", Mozart's 21st Piano Concerto, Beethoven's "Pastoral Symphony" or "Moonlight... Read morePublished on Oct. 19 2000 by firstname.lastname@example.org
Chailly's Mahler Fifth is the perfect antidote to those versions which beat this work black and blue. This reading avoids blatancy yet does not rob the work of its emotional depth. Read morePublished on Feb. 23 2000