Mahler’s Fifth.


Gustav Mahler:

  • Symphony No. 5 in C sharp minor.

Performed by the Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig, conducted by Ricardo Chailly.

This is one of the truly great compositions by Gustav Mahler. It is filled with originality, creativity, and huge expressions of emotion.

Think about this: The Viennese public who first heard this music was hostile toward Mahler anyway, because he was Jewish. And in this piece, he starts his Fifth symphony with the sounds of a solo trumpet!

The Viennese public grew up with the soothing sounds of Haydn’s symphonic introductions, and suddenly they are confronted with no introduction at all, but these loud trumpet sounds. People look at each other and shake their heads in disbelief. That’s how it was in the early 1900’s in Vienna.

And conductor Riccardo Chailly points out that:

“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.“

With the Gewandhaus Orchestra, we hear an amazing intensity of sound and emotional expression. Chailly achieves a level of tension in which the symphony’s unique character and color unfold.

And there’s a bonus on this DVD: Conductor Riccardo Chailly speaks about his interpretation of Mahler’s 5th Symphony.

Here is the Gewandhausorchester conducted by Riccardo Chailly in Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 5. The Adagietto begins at 02:10



Finally, here is another interpretation: Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 – The Adagietto, with Conductor Sir Georg Solti. Try – if you are able – to listen to this actively and carefully, in order to gain the full impact of this music:



Tags: Gustav Mahler, Symphony #5, Ricardo Chailly, Gewandhaus Orchestra