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Mahler: Symphony No. 5

19 customer reviews

Price: £9.45 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Orchestra: New Philharmonia
  • Conductor: Sir John Barbirolli
  • Composer: Gustav Mahler
  • Audio CD (5 Oct. 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: EMI
  • ASIN: B00002439L
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 70,857 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. First movement: Trauermarsch (In gemessenem Schritt. Streng. Wie ein Kondukt)
2. Second movement: Stürmisch bewegt (Mit größter Vehemenz)
3. Third movement: Scherzo (Kräftig, nicht zu schnell)
4. Fourth movement: Adagietto (Sehr langsam)
5. Fifth movement: Rondo - Finale (Allegro)

Product Description

Product Description

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Amazon.co.uk

The nine Mahler symphonies are such great musical achievements that no one recording can ever be definitive. That said, it is an immense pleasure to have the great Mahler conductor Sir John Barbirolli's 1969 account of the vast Fifth Symphony available on this current release. The recording is a Gramophone magazine Top 100 selection, chosen as one of the most important classical recordings ever issued and a cornerstone of any serious collection. Concordant with this status, the sound has been digitally remastered for exceptional quality, bringing out every detail of the original tapes, while reducing hiss and other blemishes to the absolute minimum. Here is warmth, insight and power, with Barbirolli allowing the symphony to live in its own time, unfolding over 74 minutes through the intensely dramatic "Sturmisch Bewegt", the timelessly beautiful "Adagietto" to the celebratory "Rondo-Finale". Issued as part of EMI Classics Great Recordings of the Century (a series that also includes Kathleen Ferrier in Mahler's Kindertotenlieder, and well as Klemperer conducting Das Lied von der Erde with Christa Ludwig and Fritz Wunderlich), this really is an essential album. However, those who insist on more modern sound will be well rewarded by Claudio Abbado's thrilling 1993 live recording of the same work, which finds the Berlin Philharmonic on absolutely top form. --Gary S. Dalkin

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Klingsor Tristan VINE VOICE on 15 Mar. 2007
Format: Audio CD
I have to take issue with Mr. Redfearn in his review below. "Barbirolli not really renowned for his Mahler interpretations"? Sir John was more responsible than any other conductor (pace Bernstein and Horenstein) for the renaissance in interest in Mahler's music through the 50's and early 60's. Under his aegis, the Halle had all the symphonies with the exception of No.8 in their repertoire before any other orchestra in the world - with the possible exception of Mengelberg's Concertgebouw. I first heard Nos.1, 5 and 6 under his baton and vividly remember early performances of Nos. 2, 3 and 7 from those days, too. Recordings - all of them worth hearing, some of them definitive - exist of all the symphonies bar No.8, plus Das Lied plus all the major song-cycles. No, Mr. Redfearn, Mahler's current high reputation would probably not exist were it not for the committed proselytising of Sir John when it was deeply unfashionable to support, never mind play him.

As for this recording of the Fifth, it has long been a classic of the gramophone. And deservedly so. Despite being, these days, probably the most popular of all the Mahler symphonies, it is not at all easy to bring off well. Mahler' music was in a stage of transition from his Wunderhorn period to the bleaker world of Symphonies 6 & 7. Here in No.5 he was trying out his new-found confidence in counterpoint and fugal writing. Here, too, is a newly won ability to play amazing sleight-of-hand tricks with his harmonic modulations, especially in the infamous Adagietto.

Barbirolli has a matchless ability to combine passion and the full weight of Romantic angst with intellectual rigour.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By G. Riley on 6 Jun. 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a masterful performance of Mahler's fifth symphony. Sir John has such sympathy for Mahler's works that you almost feel he had written it himself as he gets so much passion from the music. This is Romantic music at its best.
In spite of being over forty years old the recording was digitally remastered in 1998 and is as clear and bright as any you will find today. If you only purchase one copy of Mahler's 5th, I would make it this one.
Mahler - Symphony No 5
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ralph Moore TOP 100 REVIEWER on 1 Jun. 2010
Format: Audio CD
I recently made some comparisons with another two recordings and found both the Abbado version with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the "sleeper" issue from Frank Shipway with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on the bargain RPO Collection Tring label to be superior to this revered 1969 EMI recording by Barbirolli and the New Philharmonic - good though it is. The EMI sound is inevitably rather muddier and more indistinct than either the DG or Tring, and Barbirolli is that bit more genial and even comfortable in his interpretation - except in the famous Adagietto, where he is a tad brisker than either Shipway or Abbado but nonetheless caresses the music lovingly. For me, both Shipway and Abbado push the Adagietto tempo to the very limit of slowness before the music starts to sag - but they just get away with it, especially when both their strings produce such rich, unbroken, singing tone. Shipway creates a more detached, haunting quality while Abbado goes for a lusher, perhaps more conventional indulgence.

All three orchestras are deeply impressive; one notes the famous depth and sonority of the Chicago brass, the beauty of the Philharmonia woodwind and the all-round élan and precision of the RPO in ensemble. Abbado's approach, as his is wont and forté, is more majestic, while Shipway generates incredible energy and momentum, especially in that rumbustious finale. Barbirolli, by contrast, as I said before, seems to convey the most affection for this great work and he has an acute sense of its architecture, subtly moulding phrases con amore. It helps that he has at his disposal one of the finest orchestras of its day.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By stephenjohn0 on 1 Nov. 2007
Format: Audio CD
I have just revisited this recording after having listened to Abbado with the Berliners on DG and also Bernsteins 1988 recording with the Vienna Phil.also DG. It was a revelation, everything sounded 'right', I'm not a musicologist but the music just moved me, it seemed of a piece; the other 2 DG recordings seemed to highlight various instruments,especially horns which at times appeared in front of the strings. I can really recommend this recording not digitally pulled about like so many. Buy it you won't be disappointed.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 Feb. 2001
Format: Audio CD
Since its release this recording has been hors concours.
It is deeply emotional and heartfelt yet never over the top. I cannot see what the previous reviewer is complaining about with regard to the sound .
The Adagietto is far from the sickly soup it sometimes becomes . The Rondo Burleske has wonderful momentum.
Unmatched - buy it !!!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Guy Whit on 19 Dec. 2007
Format: Audio CD
Many years ago now, it was this recording that introduced me to the intense world of Mahler. On CD it is just as memorable and moving, with good sound and depth, and retaining all the bloom of the original LP. Barbirolli was a great Mahlerian: noble, long-breathed and completely in control of what is in lesser hands a sprawling architecture. He is deeply moving too and this glorious music is allowed to grow organically from the fraught, tragic first movement, through to the eruptions of joy of the finale. The vintage Phiharmonia never sounded better - and they were probably the greatest orchestra around when this was recorded in the late 60s or early 70s.
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