on 30 September 2010
Mahlers 5th symphony must be among the symphonies recorded the most. The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (RCO) alone has several recording, including one with Haitink (2 times) and Chailly. Most other major orchestra's also have at least one recording in their discography.
What makes this recording so good. First off all there is Mariss Jansons. Jansons together with the RCO shows he is an excellent Mahler conductor. Jansons is able to create the ultimate balance between drama, tempi, accents and so on.
Second there is the orchestra it self. This recording shows that the orchestra is still getting better. The development of the strings, brass and wind is clearly audible if you listen to older recordings of this symphony by the RCO.
Third there is the hall the orchestra plays in. The Concertgebouw has a reverb that is just about right for Mahler, although it may me muffle the brass occasionally in loud sections.
Fourth and final, the recording quality is just superb. Setting a standard for live recordings.
on 28 August 2011
I did buy this recording for 6, so it was a no risk bet.
I listened to it this morning. Where I was having doubt about some accents in the string playing initially in the first movement, the performance really grew on me. It really draws you in in a way you cannot loose attention. When the second movement began I was already convinced.
Highlights are a very songfull Adagietto en the really 'attacca' entry into the final movement. This movement has its weaknesses but Janssons takes the hurdles well.
In addition to the fine work of Jansons, there is the extremely beautiful playing of the RCO an a very good, realistic, recording.
In addition to all this good music making, also the booklet notes are informative and really in line with the performance. (Numerous classical music booklets have text ranging from page-filling to complete nonsense. Here with have a limited amount of text, but it really makes sense).