Klaus Tennstedt (19261998), a renowned Mahlerian, conducted this live performance at the Royal Festival Hall a year after stepping down as the LPOs Principal Conductor. Issued here for the first time on DVD, this same live performance was hailed as legendary by Michael McManus in the Gramophone and has been released on CD by EMI. Tennstedts 1978 studio recording of Mahlers Fifth Symphony is described in one edition of the Penguin Guide as an outstanding performance, thoughtful on the one hand, warm and expressive on the other. This 1988 live performance is described in a later edition of the same guide as more daring and more idiosyncratic than Tennstedts earlier studio recording, but the tension is far keener. The experience hits one at full force. The emotional tension of the occasion is vividly captured. This performance was the last time Tennstedt returned to Mahler 5 with the LPO and the highly personal and passionate interpretation justifies his reputation for outstanding live performances. According to Michael McManus, The phenomenon that was Tennstedt in concert will never, can never, be recreated.
London Philharmonic Orchestra - Klaus Tennstedt, direction