Kubelik/SBR – Mahler: Symphony No. 5 (2LP, 180g German pressing)

# Composer: Gustav Mahler
# Orchestra: Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
# Conductor: Rafael Kubelik
# Vinyl
# Number of Discs: 2
# Format: FLAC
# DR Analysis: DR 14
# Label: audite Records | 80.465
# Size: 24-bit/192kHz (2.82GB), 24-bit/96kHz (1.42GB) and 16-bit/44.1kHz (376MB)
# Recovery: 5%
# Scan: yes
# Servers: File Factory

From the label:

After a hiatus of many years we have resumed our production of LPs! Our first record: aud 80465 (double LP) “Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 5”, live recording from the Herkulessal of the Residenz in Munich in June 1981, Rafael Kubelik, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra

Ever since the young Rafael Kubelik became acquainted with the music of Gustav Mahler – primarily through conductors such as Bruno Walter, Erich Kleiber and Fritz Busch – his fascination with it never again left him alone. He pressed forward with the Mahler Renaissance in post-war Germany as one of its main protagonists against the initially reserved attitude of the public and critics.

In Munich, he realized one of the first complete Mahler cycles. The fruitful collaboration over many decades between Kubelik and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra reached unique high points in Mahler’s symphonies again and again. Mahler’s Fifth Symphony appears here in a live recording from the Herkulessaal of the Munich Residenz made on 12 June 1981.


Kubelik’s Mahler credentials have long been established ever since his trailblazing Decca recording of the First with the VPO in 1957 indeed many collectors still prefer that version to others for its verve and drive. This 1981 live relay from Munich shows the Czech conductor at his most inspired with the orchestra that was part of his life for most of his recording career. The bold strokes of the Trauermarsch are magnificent in their eerie solemnity with a rich resonant recording aiding the imposing nature of the music no end.

‘Sturmisch bewegt’ is constructive and full, although other conductors like Karajan and Bernstein have brought greater character to his music, indeed Kubelik’s own previous 1967 recording was much more involved. The Scherzo moves about with terrific swagger, the BRSO horns have a field day and the contributions of the strings are also quite dizzying. In the famous Adagietto, Kubelik almost finds a heavenly pace; this is music from another planet in such a conductor’s hands.

One cannot fault the Finale for its irresistible rhythmic verve and drive that bring the work to an end in typically vigorous fashion. Audite’s recording is admirably clear and extremely vivid, indeed the famous spacious acoustic of the Herkulessaal is quite dazzlingly captured. There is a whole host of Fifths in the bargain and mid-price range but this recording demands to be heard, both as a souvenir of Kubelik’s immense charisma and for its place as a unique testament of Mahler conducting to range alongside the Bernsteins, Soltis and Karajans of the past century. – Gerald Fenech, musicweb-international.com

Track listing:

Side One
01 – I. Trauermarsch. In gemessenem Schritt. Wie ein Kondukt

Side Two
02 – II. Stürmisch bewegt, mit größter Vehemenz

Side Three
03 – III. Scherzo. Kräftig, nicht zu schnell

Side Four
04 – IV. Adagietto. Sehr langsam
05 – V. Rondo-Finale. Allegro – Allegro giocoso. Frisch

Johannes Ritzkowsky – horn

Additional info can be found here and here.

Ripping Info:

All vinyl is cleaned on a VPI 16.5
Milty Pro Zerostat 3

Technics SL1200-MK5 (modified)
– Rega RB300 arm with RB700 wiring
– Michell Tecnoweight
– SoundSupports armboard
– Trans-Fi Audio ResoMat
Audio Technica AT33PTG/II
AVID Pellar preamp
RME Hammerfall 9632 ADC

Processing: Sound Forge 10, ClickRepair (manual mode only), iZotope RX3

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