5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Whoops I did it again,
This review is from: Mahler: Symphony No. 9 (Audio CD)
"Only a fool makes the same mistake twice" or so the saying goes. More the fool me then because every time I see that Simon Rattle has recorded a Mahler symphony I feel compelled to go out and buy it. I never learn because I appreciate how hard he tries and how much work goes into his interpretations of Mahler. My only excuse is that he occasionally succeeds, as in his most recent recording of the Tenth.
His closely miked, micro managed and emotionally straightjacketed version of the Fifth should have warned me off his Ninth, especially after he returned to the symphony so quickly after his Vienna Philharmonic recording of it. The Ninth is possibly the best of all Mahler's symphonies and has been served well by so many conductors, such as Haitink, Gilbert, Masur and others. That such a high percentage of interpretations seem to work with this symphony is testament to its strength whereas some of the others could be accused of being unbalanced or uneven in their construction.
Many of the ills that dog Rattle's recording of the Fifth remain here: ponderous without expression, closely miked again, thin bass and flat trebles with the BPO hardly at its peak. In his defence the work's architecture can still be appreciated here. There's no point on dwelling on the detail though - Rattle did that anyway. There's far better to be had elsewhere so don't waste your money here.