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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Boulez & Vienna Philharmonic - Mahler 5, 13 Dec 2009
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Mr. Mark A. Meldon (Somerset UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mahler: Symphony No. 5 (Audio CD)
Mahler's symphony 5 has had rather a chequered history on disc, with some pretty disappointing performances down the years. Famous for the adagietto, it's best to hear the whole work than silly chunks. This March 1996 recording from Pierre Boulez and the Vienna Philharmonic is one of the best modern recordings and demands your attention.

Boulez mixes up the gentle and severe parts of this 72 minute work beautifully, bringing subtlety when reqired, fierceness, too. Some have said that this recording sounds so right that the symphony sounds odd played any other way; I agree. The whole performance blends and this CD is a regular visitor to my CD player. British critics, in particular, have been dismissive of the Boulez Mahler cycle favouring, instead, old warhorse recordings, such as that from Barbirolli Mahler/Symphony No.5, or the slightly overrated Rattle Mahler: Symphony No. 5. Whilst I do own these recordings, I don't listen to them very much, preferring the splendidly-recorded Boulez almost every time.

There are of course several excellent recordings of Maler's fifth symphony and, to compliment this Boulez recording, you could choose the unfairly overlooked Wit/Polish NRSO version Mahler - Symphony No 5 on Naxos (an amazing bargain, especially used), Chailly Mahler: Symphony No.5 or even Bernstein's DG recording Mahler: Symphony No.5, for a different take on this wonderful work (very different with Berstein!).

You may find, however, that you reach most often for this Boulez/VPO CD most of the time; highly recommended.
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1 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mahler Symphonie, 20 Oct 2010
This review is from: Mahler: Symphony No. 5 (Audio CD)
Fantastic recording, the music takes you straight back to the mysterious and cultured Austria. Movement 4 is famous from the film "Death in Venice".
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Mahler: Symphony No. 5
Mahler: Symphony No. 5 by Gustav Mahler (Audio CD - 2004)
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