HD-Vinyl 24/96 (DGG) Gustav Mahler – Symphony No.5 (Bernstein)

Mahler’s Fifth was one of the pieces Leonard Bernstein owned. This interpretation is broader than the one he recorded with the New York Philharmonic in the early 1960s, but it’s little changed in feeling. It is, however, far more polished and a good deal more persuasive. The recording, like all of Bernstein’s later Mahler cycle, was made live; here, he and the Vienna Philharmonic give a gripping performance full of telling nuance, intensely expressive yet thoroughly controlled. It’s a reading both Dionysiac and “Bachic”–as in J. S. Bach, not Bacchus–one in which the impetuous energy of the score is transmitted to the fullest degree, but not at the expense of the extraordinary (for Mahler) contrapuntal detail. Most remarkable of all, perhaps, is Bernstein’s sureness of touch, his ability to realize the many little expressive gestures that no longer merely draw attention to themselves the way they used to, but add up to something miraculous. The Philharmonic players, with him all the way, contribute many wonderful touches, especially the strings. The recording, made not in Vienna but in Frankfurt’s Alte Oper, is solid and has remarkable impact. While the bass is a bit diffuse and the sound stage not the clearest, the image is reasonably detailed and well balanced, the atmosphere good. –Ted Libbey.

# Composer: Gustav Mahler
# Orchestra: Vienna Philarmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
# Vinyl (1988)
# Number of Discs: 1
# Format: Flac
# Label: DGG
# DR-Analysis: DR 15
Size: 1.48 GB
# Scan: yes
# Server: Fi

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