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Mahler: Symphony No. 5
Format: Audio CDChange
Price:£13.25+Free shipping with Amazon Prime

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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 17 October 2010
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.

DH
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
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
on 20 November 2008
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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on 11 April 2015
Wonderful interpretation, highly recommended.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 6 November 2010
I looked at a dozen recordings of Mahler's 5th here on Amazon, before finally deciding to buy this one. And I am not at all disappointed.

Chailly guides the orchestra through the symphony with excellence, with highlights such as the entire first movement, the stunning solo horn in the Scherzo, and last, but not least, the final climax of the symphony in the Rondo-Finale.

It may have a few flaws (for example the opening of the Trauermarsch, which as mentioned by another is phrased a bit odd).

Other than that, I'd recommend this recording to anyone who wants a good recording of Mahler's 5th.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 25 September 2013
I now have ten readings of this symphony, from Walter to Solti, Barbirolli to Karajan, and this one truly does stand out.
If you like your Mahler with a quicker than usual tempo and an altezzoso hauteur, this recording is for you.
The playing is superb, the bravura is pure Slavic in its dash and elegance, and the sound is rich and detailed.
They say there is a Mahler 5 for everyone, and I am sure there is, but this performance is certainly not to be missed.
Do not forget the price either; definitely one for you to buy.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 10 June 2013
Considering the vast orchestral forces used in Mahler scores the recording shure make the difference and this one is certanly astounding.
A really immersion like experience and nice reading of the score.

Although I choose Abbado as my reference, it looks like a dwarf in front of this one.

I'll finish listening and add some more comments on it.

Highly recommended.

Capezio
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