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Symphony No.5

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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£9.90 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Only 2 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Product details

  • Orchestra: New Philharmonia
  • Conductor: Sir John Barbirolli
  • Composer: Gustav Mahler
  • Audio CD (4 Feb. 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Classics
  • ASIN: B00AM5R8FS
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 141,935 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. I. Trauermarsch (In gemessenem Schritt. Streng. Wie ein Kondukt)
  2. II. Stürmisch bewegt (Mit größter Vehemenz)
  3. III. Scherzo (Kräftig, nicht zu schnell)
  4. IV. Adagietto (Sehr langsam)
  5. V. Rondo - Finale (Allegro)

Customer Reviews

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Where does one begin? The Penguin guide used to say that this was one of the most warm-hearted and affectionate performances on record, and they did not just mean of this piece. They were correct. First to timings. The first, third and fourth movements here are no slower than many other performances, in fact you will not hear a craggier, more funereal first movement, a more atmospheric or bucolic scherzo, or a more tender and heart-breaking performance of the adagietto on any other recording. You may hear a little more polish, but you will sacrifice character, and character is what Barbirolli is clearly after; character - not self-indulgent sentimentality. Now the second and fifth movements are slower than normal. This works perfectly well in the second movement. Mahler marks this "stormy, with the utmost vehemence". He does not mark it "schnell"! Barbirolli is certainly not schnell, but he IS very VERY dark. The chorale theme, when it emerges is blended with the orchestra, not blared out, and after it subsides the storm returns with the UTMOST vehemence, putting the chorale into the shade, as it should, for now. I am not completely convinced by the pace for the finale (although I am convinced by the closing pages, which are very moving indeed), it is VERY slow, but it is also full of a kind of galumphing good humour - it does not lack for smiles. Could Barbirolli have taken this movement faster though, after the weighty second movement? - It is difficult to imagine a fast finale following all that has gone before, the performance is of a piece with itself. At the very end Barbirolli again does not allow the big chorale theme to blurt out crudely (as normally happens frankly).Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this performance has always been my favorite. Also on the unconventional side 8 Feb. 2015
By Mahler fan - Published on
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In spite of its unconventional tempo relationships, this performance has always been my favorite. Also on the unconventional side, the brass "chorales" in the second and fifth movements are not blazes of metallic glory as one may hear in Bernstein's Vienna recording; rather, they are understated and blended with the whole orchestral texture. It is partly for this reason--the blended brass colors--that I so adore this performance.

The real reason that I'm writing this review is in regard to the remastering. I've had the original EMI CD since the day it was issued in 1990, and it is a marvelous disc. This one, however, is subtly improved. It is difficult to quantify the improvement, but it definitely sounds a bit "warmer." It is the same remastering as that of EMI's Great Recordings of the Century reissue, except in one earth-moving way: the GROTC inexplicably omits a crucial edit in which the obbligato horn misses an entrance in the 3rd movement. The missed horn entrance was apparently a terrible reality in the LP release, but this missing entrance was dubbed in for the original CD release in 1990. This edition restores the missing horn entrance WITH the remastered sound.

I'm glad I finally purchased this new remastering, but I would still be happy with the original CD if that were all I had ever heard. After all, it is all about the music and interpretation, not the engineering, in the end. Still, good sound engineering enhances the experience, and I'd advice every lover of this performance to buy THIS release and not the GROTC century, even if you have the original CD from 1990. It is "just enough" improved to make the purchase worth it.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stunning 13 Jun. 2013
By Bone - Published on
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Sir John did a marvelous job! Adagietto is truly inspired, but some might find the leisurely tempos of the other movements a bit distracting (I certainly did). Overall well played, if idiosyncratic.
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