|Available at Amazon:|
Mahler 5, Berlin Philharmonic, S. Rattle (November 5, 2002)
Gustav Mahler, Symphony No. 5
Mahler 5 was reviewed last by Ionarts this summer, in a performance in Florence by Daniel Barenboim and the Staatskapelle Berlin, and Jens heard it played by the Philadelphia Orchestra in 2004. A recent addition to the bewildering host of recordings of Mahler 5 is Simon Rattle's live recording with the Berlin Philharmonic, made five years ago this month, in 2002. Jens has already lumped Rattle's live Mahler 8 with its famous Solti counterpart, and this Mahler 5 has a lot of Solti in it, too. Most of that similarity is in the choice of tempi, and Rattle's "Live Five" times out with an eerie closeness to Solti's. By contrast to the forthright Solti, Rattle tends to favor the arch understatement of the softer passages, which makes for some enjoyable subtleties in this reading. It has not become a favorite version for multiple and regular listening.
Mahler 5, Tonhalle Orchester Zurich, G. Solti (remastered September 3, 2007)
Mahler 5, Wiener Philharmoniker, L. Bernstein (remastered February 7, 2007)
John Adams, Fearful Symmetries and The Wound-Dresser, Orchestra of St. Luke's, John Adams (October 20, 1989)
My guess is that to make this work share the stage with a monumental piece like Mahler 5 will set up an unfavorable comparison, to say the least. There are some passages in Mahler 5 that have superficial similarities with the bubbling sound of minimalism, for example, in the bustling sections of the scherzo. The goal of the program is surely to make us hear more sounds in common.