Mahler: Symphony No. 5 (SACD)

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Minnesota Orchestra, Osmo Vanska

Minnesota Orchestra, Osmo Vanska

The present disc launches yet another series, of even more monumental proportions, with Gustav Mahler's Fifth Symphony, recorded by the orchestra under Osmo Vänskä in Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis in June 2016.

Composed in 1902, the purely instrumental work followed upon three symphonies that had all included vocal parts. This and the opening trumpet motif, an allusion to the rhythm that begins Beethoven's Fifth have been interpreted as Mahler's return to a more conventional idea of the symphonic genre. Other features are less traditional, however –a sometimes bewildering mixture of musical idioms reminds us of the melting-pot that Vienna was at the time, with allusions to Austrian, Bohemian and Hungarian styles. To an unsuspecting audience, the famous Adagietto for strings and harp –probably the best-known of all of Mahler's music –must also have been surprising, appearing at the heart of a work which is otherwise lavishly scored and orchestrated.

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Gustav Mahler

Symphony No.5 in C sharp minor (1901–02)
1) I. Trauermarsch. In gemessenem Schritt. Streng. Wie ein Kondukt
2) II. Stürmisch bewegt. Mit größter Vehemenz
3) III. Scherzo. Kräftig, nicht zu schnell
4) IV. Adagietto. Sehr langsam
5) V. Rondo-Finale. Allegro – Allegro giocoso. Frisch

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