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Mahler: Symphony No. 5

Price: £15.92 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Mahler: Symphony No. 5 + Mahler: Symphony No.2 - "Resurrection" + Totenfeier
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Product details

  • Orchestra: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
  • Conductor: Riccardo Chailly
  • Composer: Gustav Mahler
  • Audio CD (24 Mar. 2011)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B0000042I7
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 93,542 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Mahler: Symphony No.5 in C sharp minor - 1. Trauermarsch (In gemessenem Schritt. Streng. Wie ein Kondukt - Plötzlich schneller. Leidenschaftlich. Wild - Tempo I)Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra12:54£1.49  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Mahler: Symphony No.5 in C sharp minor - 2. Stürmisch bewegt. Mit größter Vehemenz - Bedeutend langsamer - Tempo I subitoRoyal Concertgebouw Orchestra14:56£1.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Mahler: Symphony No.5 in C sharp minor - 3. Scherzo (Kräftig, nicht zu schnell)Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra17:59£2.29  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Mahler: Symphony No.5 in C sharp minor - 4. Adagietto (Sehr langsam)Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra10:27£1.49  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Mahler: Symphony No.5 in C sharp minor - 5. Rondo-Finale (Allegro)Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra15:28£1.89  Buy MP3 

Product Description


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.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Hogan on 17 Oct. 2010
Format: Audio CD
Chailly's recording of Mahler's 5th symphony is perfect throughout each of the five movements.

The first movement is performed with a real sense of tragedy and melancholy, with a thrilling central climax. The performance of the second movement is very exciting, it is played with extra fire, making you listen on the edge of your seat, especially in the many climaxes. The scherzo is performed to perfection, Mahler's charming interpretation of a Viennese Waltz wonderfully captured, the horns of the Royal Concertgebouw are absolutely fantastic here, I love their tone. The Concertgebouw strings give a beautiful, passionate rendition of the famed adagietto with a most magnificent climax.
However, the biggest success in this recording is the last movement, where Chailly and his Royal Concertgebouw give an delightful performance, very enjoyable. The glory and joy is captured remarkably. This all leads up to a grand finale.

The performance of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is incredible, completely flawless, much adding to their reputation as one of the world's greatest orchestras. I cannot commend their playing enough, it is simply astonishing!

Chailly's interpretation is marvelous, he really allows all the genius of Mahler's orchestrations and textures to be heard. This is helped by fantastic sound quality and balance from Decca.

So overall, I cannot reccommend this performance enough! I always enjoy listening to it and I wouldn't have trouble saying that it is the best recording of Mahler's 5th available.

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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Mark A. Meldon TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 9 Jan. 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Chailly's Mahler recordings have had rather a mixed critical response from what I have read over the years, but I do think that here is a recording that would make a good jumping-off point for those interested in exploring the work of Mahler, with symphony 5 being a very good place to start.

As better writers than me have said, this symphony marks a turning point in Mahler's composing career and this gives rise to "difficulties" for his interpreters. Polyphony is here, in III and the finale, and the Scherzo could almost stand alone as a concerto with its horn obbligato. Having five movements adds to the conductor's problem with overall balance. Thankfully, today we have many recordings to choose from, many of which have been reviewed on Amazon; so why would you possibly choose Chailly as your first "go" at Mahler 5?

Well, whilst I would be the first to say that there are very many equally excellent recordings of this symphony, from the ancient to the bang-up-to date, and that Chailly may not exhibit some of the idiosyncrasies (good or otherwise) of many of the available recordings, I think that he probably does most things right without being boring or taking an overly-cautious approach. Chailly leaves the music to speak for itself and, boy does he have a great orchestra in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw!

Decca's sonics are quite superb and Chailly makes for a fine central recommendation. For the really impecunious, the Naxos Mahler 5 with Antoni Wit is a tremendous bargain Mahler - Symphony No 5, especially on the used market - why not get both, they are very different!
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By JJA Kiefte on 20 Nov. 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is certainly one of the leading orchestras in the world, its technical qualities are almost second to none. As a recording venue the Grote Zaal of the Concertgebouw, with its wonderful accoustics, is almost ideal. Decca's recording and balance engineers belong to the top of their trade. So all is set for a perfect performance of Mahler's Fifth, arguably his most popular symphony and certainly the most recorded. But somehow, it fails to come off that way. The first movement is taken at a too ponderous tempo to suit my taste, while the trumpet soloist phrases the opening statement in a rather odd way. In the third movement the horn soloist is placed behind the violins to give him more prominence, which unfortunately makes his sound slightly edgy and a times even strident. The fourth movement, with ten minutes not as fast as Gielen on Hänssler and Barshai on Briliant or as snail-like as Bernstein and Karajan on DGG, let alone Haitink on Philips, sounds a bit too flat to suit my taste. This movement could do with a bit of drama to counterbalance the sugary sweetness with which it is associated since Visconti.
So although this symphony is tremedously well played and recorded it is the interpretation which makes me feel not quite satisfied with Mr. Chailly's version. The best alternatives in my opinion are the devastating versions by Levine & Philadelphia (on RCA) or Barshai & the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie (on Brilliant).
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