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Mahler: Symphony #5 In C Sharp Minor - 1. Trauermarsch
Mahler: Symphony #5 In C Sharp Minor - 2. Sturmisch Bewegt
Mahler: Symphony #5 In C Sharp Minor - 3. Scherzo
Mahler: Symphony #5 In C Sharp Minor - 4. Adagietto
Mahler: Symphony #5 In C Sharp Minor - 5. Rondo, Finale
“Sir John Barbirolli's Fifth occupies a special place in everybody's affections: a performance so big in spirit and warm of heart as to silence any rational discussion of its shortcomings. Some readers may have problems with one or two of his sturdier tempos. He doesn't make life easy for his orchestra in the treacherous second movement, while the exultant finale, though suitably bracing, arguably needs more of a spring in its heels. But against all this, one must weigh a unity and strength of purpose, an entirely idiomatic response to instrumental colour and texture (the dark, craggy hues of the first two movements are especially striking); and most important of all that very special Barbirollian radiance, humanity – call it what you will. One point of interest for collectors – on the original LP, among minor orchestral mishaps in the Scherzo, were four bars of missing horn obbligato (at nine bars before fig 20). Not any more! The original solo horn player, Nicholas Busch, has returned to the scene of this momentary aberration (Watford Town Hall) and the absent bars have been ingeniously reinstated. There's even a timely grunt from Sir John, as if in approval. Something of a classic, then; EMI's remastering is splendid.”
“this is one of the greatest, most warmly affecting accounts ever committed to disc, expansive, yet concentrated in feeling: the Adagietto is very moving indeed.”
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