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Mahler: Symphony No. 5

10 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 10, 2009
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Editorial Reviews


1. Symphony No. 5 in C sharp minor: Trauermarsch, in gemessenem Schritt, Streng, wie ein Kondukt
2. Symphony No. 5 in C sharp minor: Stürmisch bewegt, mit grösster Vehemenz
3. Symphony No. 5 in C sharp minor: Scherzo, kräftig, nicht zu schnell
4. Symphony No. 5 in C sharp minor: Adagietto, sehr langsam
5. Symphony No. 5 in C sharp minor: Rondo, finale

Product Details

  • Orchestra: Gewandhausorchester Leipzig
  • Conductor: Václav Neumann
  • Composer: Gustav Mahler
  • Audio CD (February 10, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Brilliant Classics
  • ASIN: B001MWM13Y
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #526,936 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Colloredo von Salzburg on May 10, 2010
This is with no doubt one of the true crown's jewels in M5 performances
history. Vaclav Neumann was a great mahlerian and his Gewandhaus concerts
on this composer were authentic revelations. Regarding this Neumann's M5,
i dont care about silly comments on trumpet`s sound and keys and i would
better pay attention to many other things to enjoy in this swift, sharply
focused performance. The opening funeral march may lack a bit of atmosphere
and density, but the turbulent second movement finds the Gewandhaus playing
with surprising and compelling ferocity. The scherzo is excellently paced,
the Adagietto, is perfectly judged and balanced, with a beautiful sound from
the strings. The finale is wonderful and moving, with awesome and powerful orchestral tutti and an unforgettable coda. With no doubt this recording
is among the very best of this symphony and an absolute recommendation.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. F. Laurson on June 4, 2010
[from Classical WETA's Mahler Survey]

In any good performance [of a Mahler Fifth], no matter the sound quality, there should be moments where the symphony takes you by the lapels and forces your concentration for at least moments, if not the duration of the entire work. You'll find plenty of those in Václav Neumann's 1967 recording with the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester. At a wonderfully unsentimental clip Neumann finishes in under 66 minutes and the recording is exemplary for its natural style, colorful woodwinds, and driven passion. The Adagietto (9:40) is uncommonly beautiful and not cloying in the least. A dark horse Fifth-of-Choice. And, if by personal whim, my top choice.

Also available via Berlin Classics.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Grabow on December 8, 2010
Verified Purchase
I have recently acquired this version of Mahler's 5th Symphony conducted by Vaclav Neumann and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra in a technically superb remastering of a 1967 performance. My standard of reference for this work is Chailly, Jansons, Gatti, Zander, Rattle (new EMI) and Bertini. My second tier would include Barbirolli, Bernstein (DG) Abbado, Gielen, Solti and Tilson-Thomas. In my opinion, this recording by Neumann is one of the best there is. This work certainly doesn't stand or fall by the quality of the opening trumpet; there is so much else happening in this symphony, and Neumann has it all under control with chamber-like clarity: a superb 2nd movement, a truly fascinating and slightly mysterious scherzo, warm ambience where needed in the adagietto and gentle triumph in the finale. This is a performance you can listen to over and over again and it's just as good and fresh each time. A real sleeper, given the stiff competition.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By L. Johan on May 25, 2009
This bargain CD incarnates a classic recording: Václav Neumann, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, 1967 - Gustav Mahler, Symphony no. 5.

Václav Neumann recorded Mahler's fifth symphony twice (as he also did with the seventh, sixth, and ninth symphonies ). The present edition from Brilliant Classics is yet another incarnation of his 1967 recording, with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig (the same performance is also available from Berlin Classics, in their "Basics" series (see Sym 5). Now Neumann recorded the fifth a second time in 1977, for Supraphon. While that performance also has its merits, it is no match for the present outstanding recording.

First, Neumann's interpretation is of higher voltage in this earlier Leipzig recording. This is especially evident in the adagietto, a beautiful, intense, and flowing performance, which stops at 9.40. But, of course, the other movements are also stunning. Second, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig 1967 is superior to Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in their 1977 incarnation. Third, this recording is technically superior, with its spacious and warm analogue sound, in contrast to the sterile sound Supraphon produced in 1977.

I want to rank the 1967 Neumann among the finest Mahler fifths on record. I think it needs to be rediscovered - as also is the case with his other early Mahler recordings (the seventh and ninth in particular, which are both outstanding).

Strongly recommended!

(NB: the trumpet is NOT out of tune/playing the wrong key, as another reviewer here claims. It is just a case of a less than perfect instrument, typical for the orchestras behind the Iron Curtain during the time of this recording.)
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Javier Vallebueno on May 22, 2009
This Vaclav Neumann's conducting of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, in the times of the Iron Curtain, is a superb swift and intense reading that makes a huge contrast with the heavy conducting of Bernstein's (DG), being both approaches valid and enjoyable in their own way. The analogue sound is warm and very well balanced. This recording was first issued by the label Berlin Classics.

This is a top pick for this symphony for Christophe Huss, top reviewer in Classics Today France that simply says that it is "phenomenal" ([...]

If it is your first time with this symphony, this is clearly your best option and it is a quite valuable addition to your collection, even if you have another eleven recordings of this wonderful masterpiece.
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