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10 Reviews
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exhilarating, memorable Mahler from Abbado, full of personality, 14 Jan. 2012
By 
Andrew R. Barnard (Leola, Pa United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mahler: Symphony No.5 (Audio CD)
I don't think any orchestra can play Mahler with more individuality than the Berlin Philharmonic. They've been gifted with great Mahlerians, Abbado and now the present day Rattle. This Mahler 5th is played with stunning power, with the Berliners giving their all. This was recorded just a few years after Abbado's takeover at Berlin, but Abbado's mark has already been left. Abbado's Berlin plays with more freedom of expression than with Karajan. (That's not necessarily to say that Karajan's Berlin is inferior to Abbado's; Karajan boasted visionary gifts and could achieve supernatural concentration.) Yet Abbado doesn't just let things roll by or become infatuated with the sound to his orchestra to the point of letting it become an end in itself. Abbado doesn't let a minute pass by without placing a firm stamp of individuality on the music.

Abbado's orchestra was lighter and fleeter in texture than either Karajan's or Rattle's. This could have worked against Abbado when he interpreted the composer who demands such power and depth. But it didn't, as Abbado used his Berliners' new-found freedom of playing to unleash his own personality and vision. The Berliners set the music on fire, making for a dazzling display of orchestral virtuosity. Clarity is present to the highest degree, with every note and phrase being articulated with astonishing agility. One of Abbado's greatest strengths as a musician is that he rarely struggles with overstatement, which means that even when he's at his most inspired the music will never become bombastic or overblown. (One can't say the same thing about Karajan.) When he's caught full of ideas, like on this disc, the music making is wonderfully infectious. Under his direction the Berliners play with marvelous beauty of tone, enabling them to deliver the ravishing melodies Mahler incorporated into his score without a care in the world. This is pure music making with no fluff.

Comparing this to Rattle's later recording of this piece with the same orchestra, Abbado comes out on top, as he allows himself to be entirely taken up with the music, whereas Rattle can sound more mannered. DG's sonics for Abbado are wonderful, but EMI was still getting adjusted to the Philharmonie's acoustics when they recorded the Rattle. For those trying to decide between the two, Abbado is the better choice, although the Rattle is certainly a success.

In closing, this is a phenomenal disc that showcases a wonderful conductor and orchestra at the height of their powers. Please buy it and enjoy.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!!, 9 Nov. 2006
By 
David C. Coleman (Birmigham, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mahler: Symphony No.5 (Audio CD)
This is a very good account of Mahlers 5th. Being a live recording gives it even more spontaneity and excitement than it already has. But you wouldn't know that it was live until the outburst of applause at the end. Abbado keeps the music moving briskly throughout which keeps the first movement's funeral march from sounding plodding, which it sometimes does. Also take note how he keeps the Adagietto away from sounding as if it's falling asleep as is in a lot of other performances. The orchestral textures are kept quite light, generally. But there are moments of great power, as you need in Mahler. An interesting and listener friendly performance. Worth a look at....
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of its kind..., 31 July 2010
By 
rjmcr (manchester, uk) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mahler: Symphony No.5 (Audio CD)
...its kind being a superbly executed and intelligently considered account of this widely recorded symphony.

Abbado's commitment to both the letter and the spirit of the score is superb and his choice of tempo throughout is unexceptionable. His Berlin orchestra are on top form and the live DG recording is generous in its dynamic range, warmly resonant, clear in detail and naturally balanced. Audience noise is negligible but applause is included.

Ultimately, my preference is for a little more danger and risk-taking in this music, and I find Tennstedt ( Mahler - Symphony No 5 ) and Bernstein ( Mahler: Symphony No.5 ) satisfy me a little more than Abbado. But make no mistake, this is a splendid addition to the Mahler catalogue and, for anyone who doesn't like Bernstein's or Tennstedt's interventionist approach, it would be my top recommendation.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars brilliant version of most popular Marler symphany., 8 Mar. 2010
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This review is from: Mahler: Symphony No.5 (Audio CD)
Very dynamic, superb recording. This is well worth getting on SACD for both the sound quality and the musical version. My only complaint is that it is spread onto 2 SACDs and the 2nd one is very short indeed. It would have been less annoying if it had been divided more evenly, that is, if this had to be done which I presume it did.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars mesmerising 5th, 23 April 2014
By 
Archie (South Woodham Ferrers, Chelmsford, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mahler: Symphony No.5 (Audio CD)
A wonderful rendition of this complex piece of work, it releases all the wonderful moods and changes of emotion and uncertainty in the first part, and then a passionate mesmerising adagio that with the beauty of Venice is one of the most memorable moments in cinema.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 28 Feb. 2015
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Enlightened (West Sussex, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mahler: Symphony No.5 (Audio CD)
Mahler at its best
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A unique title, 12 Aug. 2009
This review is from: Mahler: Symphony No.5 (Audio CD)
This is a masterpiece performed by masters of music and on SACD. The performance and tempo are thorough. The sound is breathtaking.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 25 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Mahler: Symphony No.5 (Audio CD)
Good recording
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mahler : Sympathy No. 5, 30 July 2014
By 
Leila Pinky "Leila Loves" (East Salisbury Northbri, South Australia, AU) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mahler: Symphony No.5 (Audio CD)
Mahler a German Composer also wrote such beautiful music on this disc the highlight is an almost 10 minute Adagietto No 4 is so sublime. It was used in a movie "Death in Venice" Movie and is so beautiful I seeked out a copy of this. To be honest I have not really listened to the other content but I will. I tend to listen to No 4 over and over and over.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My first Mahler CD and I have greatly enjoyed it. It came as a recommendation and turned ..., 31 Oct. 2014
By 
Keith R. Finch (Folkestone, Kent) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mahler: Symphony No.5 (Audio CD)
My first Mahler CD and I have greatly enjoyed it. It came as a recommendation and turned out a good one.
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