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EMI Masters - Symphony No.5 / Simon Rattle

Simon Rattle , Gustav Mahler , Simon Sir Rattle Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: £7.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Conductor: Simon Sir Rattle
  • Composer: Gustav Mahler
  • Audio CD (15 Feb 2010)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: EMI Classics
  • ASIN: B0032HKERW
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 271,163 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Symphony No. 5 In C Sharp Minor: I. Trauermarsch (In Gemessenen Schritt. Streng. Wie Ein Kondukt)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker13:03Album Only
Listen  2. Symphony No. 5 In C Sharp Minor: II. Stürmisch Bewegt. Mit Grosser VehemenzSir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker14:28Album Only
Listen  3. Symphony No. 5 In C Sharp Minor: III. Scherzo (Kräftig, Nicht Zu Schnell)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker/Stefan Dohr16:59Album Only
Listen  4. Symphony No. 5 In C Sharp Minor: IV. Adagietto. Sehr LangsamSir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker 9:32£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Symphony No. 5 In C Sharp Minor: V. Rondo-Finale (Allegro)Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker15:02Album Only


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We are not Alone 27 Oct 2013
Format:Audio CD
Reader, whatever the merits of this disc might be (the music bores me but from what I gather, it's a fine performance overall), the significance of this re-issue is the cover itself.

It's the playbill of the new movie: Aliens v Predators v Rattle-o-saurus. Yes, it will be Sir Simon's first appearance in a movie. As the photograph above suggests, he will be performing WITHOUT make-up.

Here is the screenplay.

A spaceship carrying a contingent of Aliens crashes into the Philharmonie in Berlin. Near-simultaneously, another rocket - this time carrying a legion of Predators - lands nearby. Both tribes know the game: it is time to battle it out, supremacy-wise, in the halls and corridors of the Philharmonie.

Having just completed a sycophantic interview with Paavo Jarvi, Sarah Willis "does it tough" at the claws of the Mother-Bee Alien. The Predators take a dim view of nice-smelling, photogenic Emmaneuel Pahud: it's death by `flute-up-the rump'.

The blood-bath is about to spill out into the foyer when a third force emerges from the bowels of the Philharmonie: Rattle-o-saurus. Humanoid but not homo sapiens, he alone can save the day. With his trousers firmly around his waist rather than his ankles, Sir Simon chastises Aliens and Predators alike; reminiscent of Charles Bronson, he "takes out the trash". While hair-gel sometimes obscures his line of sight - it drips down from his forehead - Rattle-o-saurus uses his man-perm to devastating effect: this is carnage. In this endeavour, he is assisted mightily by Count Claudio Abbado the Impaler: many an Alien and Predator meet their maker with little acidic blood to their name.

Just as victory is nigh, the aroma of Minestrone Soup fills the Philharmonie: yes, it is the Ghost of Herbie.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Much less than the sum of its parts 31 July 2010
By rjmcr
Format:Audio CD
Despite his rather patchy record with Mahler's symphonies, I had high hopes that the ground-breaking and tumultuous Fifth would be right up Rattle's street. On this showing, not so.

For a conductor who has made Mahler a significant part of his repertoire, I was struck by how underdeveloped his reading seems here. It sounded to me like a performance by somebody who has very little experience of the score. As always with Rattle detail is meticulously considered, but I never got the sense that he had an overarching vision of where this music was going. Instead he seems buried in the score rendering the music episodic and, I'm afraid to say, pretty lifeless.

The same must be said of the awful sound quality which is as dry, flat and dull as cardboard. Berlin's Philharmonie concert hall is not the best acoustic in the world by any stretch of the imagination and EMI have always struggled with it. However, this is one of their worst attempts. There is not so much as a hint of warmth or resonance to the recording and the great climaxes refuse to really bloom and open out. The microphones also seem to have been placed extremely close to the orchestra so the overall balance is anything but natural.

My final disappointment lies in the playing of the illustrious BPO themselves. If somebody had played this disc to me 'blind' I'm not sure I would have said this was even a professional orchestra, never mind the Berlin Phil under their esteemed new conductor. The strings are the main culprit with sloppy ensemble and a horribly thin, papery sound that we really don't associate with this band. Yes, it's a live recording but, for me, this is beyond the level of what's acceptable. It's not as if we're getting white-hot passion as compensation.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Rattle's stunning inaugural concert at Berlin 28 Aug 2011
Format:Audio CD
This CD is a reissue of Simon Rattle's historical inaugural concert as principal conductor of the mighty Berlin Philharmonic. In Rattle's hands, Mahler's Fifth Symphony is giving a riveting, gripping account. Recorded live at the Philharmonie, Rattle and his newly acquired Berliners shine, succeeding in keeping the music continuously interesting. The Berliners never sit still (one wonders if they could!), and the power and drama in this amazing symphony come pouring forth. True, the Berliners miss more notes than usual (most of the time they miss practically none), but the thrilling excitement and beauty more than make up for their technical shortcomings. My main complaint is that EMI's sound quality is only mediocre; I have to crank the volume up much higher than I do on most of my other recordings, and even then the sound is nothing like the sonics on EMI's recent recording of Rattle's Brahms Symphonies, which was simply stupendous. Still, the pros far outweigh the cons in this recording.

To start things off, we hear a fateful, dark rendition of the opening funeral march. Rattle makes the mood quite pensive--his Berliners aren't a step behind him, thriving with their famed big sound. The interesting thing about this movement is that it contains material that will be repeated, albeit in varied form, in the following movements. If you think Mahler took advantage of the big orchestra sound in the first movement (believe me, Mahler scored this symphony for a HUGE orchestra), then you need to hear the second movement. It opens with some exhilarating crashing chords in A-minor and then the whole orchestra simply runs away at top speed. Rattle knows what potential he has with his new orchestra and his interpretation of it will leave you speechless.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Among the Best Mahler Fifths 10 Jun 2010
By David A. Wend - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Recently, I have been reading about the first performances of Gustav Mahler's Fifth Symphony during 1904 and 05. His earlier symphonies were winning some acclaim but the Fifth was radical music and was accordingly dismissed by the majority of critics. Several critics said they could never hope to understand the music without a program. The Fifth marks a point of transformation from the symphonies of the 19th century to the 20th.

This recording by Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic is a reissue of the 2002 original recording. The original recording was criticized for the horns sounding too distant, especially in the second movement. This has not changed in this "remastered" recording. But Simon Rattle adopted Mahler's practice of moving the solo horn player in the Scherzo to the front of the orchestra, which makes all the difference. What is very striking in this recording is how the movements flow together, particularly the first and second that makeup the first half of the symphony. The difficult Scherzo is beautifully played bringing to the music as much thought and excitement as I have heard. The Adagietto is played closer to the tempo that Mahler preferred. Many recordings of the Fifth milk the music for its romantic mood and extend the tempo to the extreme. Bruno Walter's recording with the New York Philharmonic lasts under 8 minutes; Simon Rattle adopts a moderate tempo at nine and a half minutes. The Finale is expressively played, bringing out the joyous and exuberant nature of the music.

Simon Rattle's recording with the Berlin Philharmonic is among the top performances of Mahler's Fifth. It is not a perfect recording (if one can be said to exist) but has vibrant tempi and allows the details of the orchestration to shine. This CD is an OpenDisc, which can be inserted into a computer to access bonus material.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We are not Alone 27 Oct 2013
By Bernard Michael O'Hanlon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Reader, whatever the merits of this disc might be (the music bores me but from what I gather, it's a fine performance overall), the significance of this re-issue is the cover itself.

It's the playbill of the new movie: Aliens v Predators v Rattle-o-saurus. Yes, it will be Sir Simon's first appearance in a movie. As the photograph above suggests, he will be performing WITHOUT make-up.

Here is the screenplay.

A spaceship carrying a contingent of Aliens crashes into the Philharmonie in Berlin. Near-simultaneously, another rocket - this time carrying a legion of Predators - lands nearby. Both tribes know the game: it is time to battle it out, supremacy-wise, in the halls and corridors of the Philharmonie.

Having just completed a sycophantic interview with Paavo Jarvi, Sarah Willis "does it tough" at the claws of the Mother-Bee Alien. The Predators take a dim view of nice-smelling, photogenic Emmanuel Pahud: it's death by `flute-up-the rump'.

The blood-bath is about to spill out into the foyer when a third force emerges from the bowels of the Philharmonie: Rattle-o-saurus. Humanoid but not homo sapiens, he alone can save the day. With his trousers firmly around his waist rather than his ankles, Sir Simon chastises Aliens and Predators alike; reminiscent of Charles Bronson, he "takes out the trash". While hair-gel sometimes obscures his line of sight - it drips down from his forehead - Rattle-o-saurus uses his man-perm to devastating effect: this is carnage. In this endeavour, he is assisted mightily by Count Claudio Abbado the Impaler: many an Alien and Predator meet their maker with little acidic blood to their name.

Just as victory is nigh, the aroma of Minestrone Soup fills the Philharmonie: yes, it is the Ghost of Herbie. Much to the anguish of Sir Simon and the Count, he sides with the Aliens and Predators. At that moment, Yuja Wang appears and takes off her . . . . .

We stop at this point. Aliens v Predators v Rattle-o-saurus is going to be one of the mega-hits of the year. Buy into the hype - purchase this playbill!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A grand Mahler 5th that goes for orchestral depth, exhausting at times 25 April 2011
By Andrew R. Barnard - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
When Sir Simon Rattle took over the helm of the Berlin Philharmonic, he had a long history as a Mahlerian. It was a natural decision to celebrate the commencement of his tenure by recording the 5th, the only Mahler symphony he hadn't previously recorded. But for many of us, Rattle's love for Mahler has been overshadowed by the incomparable high Abbado had achieved as a Mahlerian. One guesses that Rattle felt pressured to sound individual.

And there's certainly a big difference. Rattle's entire outlook on Mahler seems to come from a different perspective. I've come to the conclusion that Abbado is an optimist in Mahler, while Rattle is a pessimist. So where Abbado takes a big sigh of relief and hope, Rattle shivers in bleak despair. The similarity between the two readings is also clear, not only because Abbado and Rattle share the same orchestra but also because they both have an eye for sensitive phrasing.

Rattle takes the opening Funeral March with a definite air of sadness--not quite tragedy. He doesn't go for all-about abandon, but his deliberation seems to add to his approach. The atmosphere is haunting, dark, and ambiguous, with chords that are voiced to have a piercing effect. The mood is much the same in the 2nd movement, where Rattle sounds particularly urbanized. This is a highly modernized approach in a good way; the music is bleak and desperate, with dizzying playing from the Berliners. Should this movement be terse and nerve-wracking? Is so, it could hardly be done better.

The highlight in the 3rd movement is Stefan Dohr's incomparable horn solo. Rattle is more generic than Abbado, who took opportunity to open the windows to bask in the sun--a relief after the intensity of the preceding movements. Rattle remains controlled but his eye for detail is hard to match, as is his ability make Mahler sound overwhelmingly huge in scope. The Adagietto seems to play itself, but it helps when the orchestra is the Berlin Phil. Rattle lines up most closely to Abbado here, actually, although Rattle is less lyrical and more convulsive. In the finale, Rattle continues to relish big, crushing sounds and while some of his rivals are more exciting, it's hard to find competition that digs in deeper. Is Rattle's controlled vehemence something to be admired? I find it thrilling, but perhaps it's an acquired taste.

To summarize, upon returning to this disc, I was surprised to see how close it is to Abbado. I still definitely prefer Abbado, but Rattle's more reticent approach has me captivated, for reasons I find hard to explain.

(This is a complete rewrite of my original review from April 2013. The original review can be found in the comments section.)
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