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Thread: Best Mahler 5 recording

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    Senior Member Saturnus's Avatar
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    Default Best Mahler 5 recording

    Dear Mahlerians of the Talk Classical forum,
    what is the best recording of Mahler symphony nr. 5?

    I really need a recording of the piece but the sheer number of different interpretations is overwhelming.
    (Also, if there are any big oboe solos in the symphony could you also name the recording with the best soloist?)

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    I have no idea which is the best but I would mention Karajan because in his recording Mahler runs out from his composing hut in the end with great awe and he (Mahler) understands the world and rejoices, the birds sing all around and he run and jump around surrounded by bright life of nature. The other recordings don't understand it and spoil this fragment. I think all the rest is not bad as well. It's good actually. I disliked Bernstein, I liked Wit and then Kubelik but Karajan, well, like I said already.
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    Senior Member Vaneyes's Avatar
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    VPO/Bernstein (DG), RPO/Shipway (RPO, latest remastering 2003), great performances, strong dynamics.

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    Senior Member itywltmt's Avatar
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    I own three versions, ranked in order of preference:

    1 - Hermann Scherchen and Vienna Staatsoper Orchestra (Uniiversal Music CD)
    2 - Rafael Kubelik and Bavarian RSO (DG, vinyl)
    3 - Riccardo Chailly and Concertgebouw (Decca, CD)

    I should really rank them 1a, 1b and 1c, as I think they are all excellent, but I have a bias towards the Sherchen interpretation, though I find the issue I have (part of the MCA "Millenium" series) has inferior sound quality to the other two, IMHO.

    The Chailly version is part of the Mahler cycle Decca released about 5 years ago (budget priced box set). As a whiole, the Chailly Cycle shows a unity of vision that makes it a great buy.

    The Kubelik disc is a vinyl third generation re-issue by DG of the great Kubelik Mahler cycle of the early 60's, of which I own a few recordings, my favourite of which being his "Resurrection".

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    tdc
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    I am still stuck on Chailly, because I enjoy his Mahler interpretations so much I haven't really sought out many other recordings just yet. His Mahler 5 is great. I've tried to seek out other conductors on youtube, but felt that Gergiev and Bernstein didn't do it for me at all on the 6th (too fast) so I have shied away from their sets, but I may just have to seek out some of the other sets mentioned here.

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    Senior Member Ukko's Avatar
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    If by 'best' you are referring to the recording I most enjoy, it is this one:

    Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine, Alain Lombard. The only performance I have heard that is in 32 bit color rather than 8 bit grayscale.

    It's listed at Amazon.com, both in CD and mp3.
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    Senior Member Vaneyes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hilltroll72 View Post
    If by 'best' you are referring to the recording I most enjoy, it is this one:

    Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine, Alain Lombard. The only performance I have heard that is in 32 bit color rather than 8 bit grayscale.

    It's listed at Amazon.com, both in CD and mp3.
    I was disappointed. To my ears, it's an odd interpretation much of the way. French Mahler?

    For those interested, there's a healthy sampling available here...

    http://www.we7.com/#/album/Alain-Lom...rp-Minor-Death

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    Senior Member Stasou's Avatar
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    Bernstein is my favorite Mahler interpreter. Try Bernstein with Wiener Philharmoniker.
    Last edited by Stasou; Jun-03-2011 at 00:25. Reason: typo

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    Senior Member Jeremy Marchant's Avatar
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    There are plenty of good performances and to try and order them is a pointless exercise - they are different form each other, not better or worse than each other.
    I rate Abbado on DG and Haitink's seventies recording on Philips.

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    Senior Member Conor71's Avatar
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    I like Bernstein and Karajan as well - Barbirolli also has an excellent Mahler 5th:


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    Senior Member Ukko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaneyes View Post
    I was disappointed. To my ears, it's an odd interpretation much of the way. French Mahler?

    For those interested, there's a healthy sampling available here...

    http://www.we7.com/#/album/Alain-Lom...rp-Minor-Death
    I don't know that it's particularly French, but it's certainly not 'standard' Mahler, because it's more upper than downer.

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    Senior Member Vaneyes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy Marchant View Post
    There are plenty of good performances and to try and order them is a pointless exercise - they are different form each other, not better or worse than each other.
    I rate Abbado on DG and Haitink's seventies recording on Philips.
    Abbado with Chicago or BPO?

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    Senior Member Jeremy Marchant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaneyes View Post
    Abbado with Chicago or BPO?
    Chicago.
    I'm not suggesting that's better than Berlin - I haven't heard the latter, or most of the other available recordings

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    Senior Member itywltmt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy Marchant View Post
    There are plenty of good performances and to try and order them is a pointless exercise - they are different form each other, not better or worse than each other.
    I rate Abbado on DG and Haitink's seventies recording on Philips.
    I don't disagree wuth your point about "ranking". Since I was the culprit yesterday, my intent was to simply give my "wholly subjective" impression of the three versions I own. Also note how I called them "1a, 1b and 1c", essentially echoing your sentiment that they are all really equal. I may be naive in saying this, but - for the most part - I think that interpretations that are worthy of being captured on a recording have some merit.

    Mind you, this was probably true 20+ years ago when making a recording was a "big dfeal", that the technology meant that orchestras had to go to studios because moving all the bulky analogue recording equipment was problematic, and there wasn't as much of an entrepreneurial spirit at play with professional orchestras (they had to align themselves with recording labels rather than be their own producers and distributors).

    On-line distribution and the low cost of CD media production (vice vinyl) changed the equation, and you now have labels/series like the SFSO's label, "LSO Live", and others that are price-comparable to the old--school DG, Deca, EMI, etc.

    My 2 cents for a Friday...
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    Assistant Administrator Chi_townPhilly's Avatar
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    Arrow

    Topic also covered here.

    My input on that thread is here.

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