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Mahler: Symphony No. 5 [Riccardo Chailly, Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig] [DVD] 
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As Riccardo Chailly points out, "The Fifth begins with a dark, gloomy, and tragic tone, but then is enlivened in the Scherzo and Adagietto, and eventually ends with a more positive character in the Finale perhaps for the last time in Mahler's life. The Adagietto is a revelation, a spiritual oasis. It is not an expression of pain, but rather Mahler's declaration of love to Alma a song without words." With the Gewandhaus Orchestra, Chailly gives the piece an unsurpassed intensity of sound and emotional expression. He achieves a compelling arc of tension in which the symphony's unique fascination unfolds. The Wiener Zeitung characterized Chailly's interpretation as "impressive with powerful and unreserved intensity."
Picture Format DVD: NTSC 16:9
Sound Formats DVD: PCM Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1
Region Code: 0 (worldwide)
Running Time: 73:37 min
Languages Bonus: Deutsch, English, Japanese (tbc), Korean (tbc)
Disc Format DVD: DVD-9
Chailly takes us on a journey from darkness to light, even comparing the symphony's closing bars with Offenbach (Mahler was a great fan apparently). If the rest of this projected second Chailly Mahler cycle is as good as this, then I suspect we have treats aplenty in store. EDITORS CHOICE --Gramophone, Nov'14
Without question, this is one of the finest performances of Mahler's Fifth I've ever heard- I certainly can't think of a better one. Its s a magnificent achievement. --IRR,Jan'15
Top Customer Reviews
In his preparations for this performance Chailly made a detailed study of the recording made by Mengelberg in 1926 as well as Mendelberg's highly detailed and annotated notes on his conducting score. Mendelberg was closely connected to Mahler at this time and this makes him an important source of information and guidance. The most significant point of difference made compared with more modern performances is the faster pacing, especially as regards the slow movement. Mendelberg took just 7 minutes for this movement which is a far cry from some of the more indulgent tempi favoured by some conductors. Chailly takes about 8.5 minutes on this occasion and this is 1.5 minutes quicker than his previous CD recording.
The slow movement is, in fact, closely identified to Alma Mahler with a verse sub-text which rhythmically fits the melodic flow - demonstrated by Chailly in the detailed and engrossing accompanying and musically illustrated documentary. There is reason to view this movement as, in effect, a marriage proposal with all the pace of tempo that one would expect.
Pacing throughout is forward moving with a clear emphasis upon clarity of musical structure. This moves steadily towards an undoubted optimistic conclusion despite the first movement's dramatic and sombre 'Trauermarsch' heading.Read more ›
The label "High Fidelity Pure Audio" on the top of the case comes from High Fidelity Pure Audio Group which is led by Universal Music Group. This is a Blu-ray audio disc (not DVD-Audio as listed on Amazon) with no footage of the performance and has exactly the same programme as the CD (ADD recording from 1973) which was issued and re-issued previously, the last one in 1996 as 'The Originals' with Original-Image Bit-Processing. The same 1973 recording on CD (not as 'The Originals') is also part of the Berliner Philharmoniker Centenary Edition box which is released about the same time as this BD. It has never been released on SACD. You'll find reviews for the CDs under their listings. Here I'll focus on the technical side so you can make an informed decision whether the extra cost is worth it.
AUDIO: There are three audio tracks: PCM 4.60Mbps (the default), DTS-HD MA and Dolby TrueHD, all 2.0 only, 24-bit 96kHz. They are all identical as the last two are lossless compression and bit-for-bit identical to the PCM. They are therefore redundant unless they are mixed differently by intention (it doesn't say so here).
Note that players will not output 96kHz from optical or coaxial if the BD is copy-protected (they can otherwise) but instead downsample to 48kHz (same with DVD-A). To output 96kHz you have to use either HDMI or the stereo analogue outputs (which some players no longer have). Then some processors and receivers may downsample incoming 96kHz when room EQ is applied or apply a digital filter cut-off around 20kHz.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is simply the best version of Mahler 5 you will see or hear recorded since the invention of recording. Read morePublished on 11 Aug. 2014 by David Allsopp