Klaus Tennstedt (1926–1998), a renowned Mahlerian, conducted this live performance at the Royal Festival Hall a year after stepping down as the LPO’s Principal Conductor.
Issued here for the first time on DVD, this same live performance was hailed as ‘legendary’ by Michael McManus in the Gramophone and has been released on CD by EMI.
Tennstedt’s 1978 studio recording of Mahler’s Fifth Symphony is described in one edition of the Penguin Guide as ‘an outstanding performance, thoughtful on the one hand, warm and expressive on the other.’
This 1988 live performance is described in a later edition of the same guide as ‘more daring and more idiosyncratic than Tennstedt’s earlier studio recording, but the tension is far keener. The experience hits one at full force’. ‘The emotional tension of the occasion is vividly captured.’
This performance was the last time Tennstedt returned to Mahler 5 with the LPO and the highly personal and passionate interpretation justifies his reputation for outstanding live performances. According to Michael McManus, ‘The phenomenon that was Tennstedt in concert will never, can never, be recreated.’
Sound format: Ambient Mastering
Picture format: 4:3
Running time: 76’
Menu languages: English
Booklet languages: E/F/G
Region code: 0
Territory Restrictions: None
“The performance epitomises the combination of immensely detailed precision and overwhelming expressive intensity that Tennstedt's many admirers found so special about his Mahler...it includes long takes of Tennstedt himself, revealing his refusal to play to the gallery. Moreover, the DVD is touching: the uncharismatic figure who strides to the podium with such determination is plainly an unwell man, but his weariness never shows for long.”
The Arts Desk
14th December 2011
“This Fifth, from the RFH in December 1988, is an entertaining watch. It’s raw, physical, raucous and, most crucially, dangerous...there’s magic in watching this frail figure conjure up sounds of such ferocity. And the physicality of Tennstedt’s approach, glasses perennially on the point of sliding off his perspirant nose, is joyfully reflected in the London Philharmonic’s playing”
Click here for alternative recordings of this work.