Mahler - Symphony No. 5 / Philadelphia Orchestra, James Levine / BMG Entertainment Audio CD 2001 Stereo / 74321 68011 2
Mahler - Symphony No. 5 / Philadelphia Orchestra, James Levine / BMG Entertainment Audio CD 2001 Stereo / 74321680112
Symphony no. 5 in c sharp minor - cis-moll - ut diese mineur 12:34
1. trauermarsch: in gemessenem schritt - streng - wie ein kondukt 12:56
2. stürmisch bewegt, mit grösster vehemenz 14:50
3. scherzo: kräftig, nicht zu schnell 17:34
4. adagietto: sehr langsam 12:01
5. rondo - finale: allegro 14:53
After being out of print for some years and making an appearance in Europe, someone had the good sense to import this masterful title from BMG/RCA. Time and competition have done nothing to diminish the luster of this glorious version of the Mahler 5th Symphony by James Levine and Philadelphia Orchestra. Made in 1978, this is the Philadelphia Orchestra of Ormandy and Stokowksi led by the young, up and coming Levine in music not normally associated with the orchestra.
Critics around the world raved about this CD in Gramophone, Third Ear Classical Music and the Penguin Guide. Some critics were reluctant to accept the 12-plus minute Adagio as fitting the music, however. The Penguin Guide called it "self conscious" and American Record Guide's recent Mahler overview said the music "fell apart" at the deliberate pace. My opinion? Balderdash! This 72-minute version of Mahler's great symphony endears every phrase while delivering the power and sentiment necessary to address the musical message and imagery.
What is most memorable is the immaculate playing of the Philadelphia Orchestra, from the opening trumpet fanfare to the triumphant conclusion to create a lengthy but satisfying treatise. They play brilliantly while following the young Levine's lead, never allowing virtuosity to overcome the music.
The recording is wonderful, as well, with clarity, a deep sound stage and resonance in every section of the orchestra. Everything about this recording is top notch. It shows why Levine became such a great star at such a relatively young age.
- Orchestra - Philadelphia Orchestra
- Conducted by - James Levine
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