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MAHLER: Symphony No. 5

Composer(s):Mahler, Gustav
Artist(s) DePreist, James, Conductor • London Symphony Orchestra
Period(s) Romantic
Genre Classical Music
Category Orchestral
Catalogue 8.557990
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps

Mahler’s Fifth Symphony, a work of huge emotional and structural range, was his first purely orchestral work since the First Symphony of 1888 (Naxos 8.550522), and his first orchestral work to dispense with both the human voice and overtly programmatic elements. The second most recorded of Mahler’s symphonies, it includes the ravishing Adagietto, a love-poem for the beautiful Alma Schindler, his future wife, and subsequently made famous by its use in Visconti’s film Death in Venice.


Review By Mike Smith,Fine Music,August 2007

James DePriest and the London Symphony Orchestra have propelled this disc to the top of the 2006 Naxos charts….The playing throughout this performance is impassioned, with some superb brass passages…The Adagietto works well, with a sense of real yearning from the LSO strings. The famous ‘cliff-hanger’ moment towards the end of the movement is beautifully managed, not holding us in eternal suspense as does Bernstein, nor glossing over with barely an acknowledgement as does Haitink with the Concertgebouw on Philips.


Review By Scott Cantrell ,The Dallas Morning News,May 2007

For 25 years music director of the Oregon Symphony, Mr. DePreist is now director of conducting and orchestral studies at the Juilliard School. His has not been the highest-profile career, but he's a widely respected musician.

Like most conductors, he takes the Adagietto of the Mahler Fifth slower than the composer intended. (Mr. DePreist's timing is 10 minutes, 42 seconds, vs. the eight-minute timings of performances by Mahler himself and his protégé Bruno Walter.) Still, commendably, the American conductor evokes tenderness rather than sentimentality, and the performance as a whole, with possibly the best of today's London orchestras, is thoughtful and communicative. At Naxos' bargain price, and with natural sonics, it's a winner.

Review By Michael Southern,Pittwater Life,March 2007

It’s a bit of a coup for a budget label to get one of the top five orchestras in the world, but Naxos has achieved that with this Mahler recording. James De Priest is well known in America and has appeared in concert halls around Asia and Europe; it has taken him a long time to establish his reputation in England nor is there much to his recording career. The Mahler fifth is not the easiest of symphonies to bring off, but well done it is a masterpiece and no doubt that is why DePriest faced the challenge which the finest conductors and orchestra in the world have tried. This is a well paced recording…the LSO is in fine form and responds well to Mr DePriest’s direction. The final movement with the brass chorale at the end is worth the budget price of this



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