Mahler’s Fifth.


Gustav Mahler:

  • Symphony No. 5 in C sharp minor

The Symphony #5 by Gustav Mahler has long been a great favorite of mine. I can just see the conservative Viennese public sneering at Mahler’s opening in such a non-traditional style, employing a lonely trumpet solo as the first music of the first movement. The public probably said it was “Ein Skandal: Ha, Ha—

The composer said during his lifetime “My time will come…” and it certainly has. No major orchestra these days plans a series of concerts without including either some Mahler songs or symphonies. The public demands to hear Gustav Mahler about 103 years after the composer’s death in Vlenna in 1911.

On this CD, the work is performed by the Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig, conducted by Riccardo Chailly.

Chailly gives the piece an unsurpassed intensity of sound and emotional expression. The Viennese newspapaer “Wiener Zeitung” characterized Chailly’s interpretation as „impressive with powerful and unreserved intensity.“

And Riccardo Chailly points out:

“The Fifth begins with a dark, gloomy, and tragic tone, but then is enlivened in the Scherzo and Adagietto, and eventually ends with a more positive character in the Finale – perhaps for the last time in Mahler’s life. The Adagietto is a revelation, a spiritual oasis. It is not an expression of pain, but rather Mahler’s declaration of love to Alma – a song without words.“

Here is the Mahler Symphony No 5 in C sharp minor, with Daniel Barenboim conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra:


And next, here’s an audio recording of the interpretation by Riccardo Chailly:


And finally, let’s hear how Claudio Abbado and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra perform it:


Tags: Gustav Mahler, Symphony #5, Riccardo Chailly, Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig