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Mahler Symphony No. 5 & Ades Aslya / Rattle, Berlin Philharmonic
Mahler Symphony No 5 Ades Aslya / Rattle Berlin Philharmonic
Actors: Simon Rattle, Berlin Philharmonic
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
NR     2003     3hr 14min

You can hear and see this excellent performance of Mahler's militant, stormy and sometimes ethereal Symphony No. 5 in standard DVD (on disc 1 of the set) or hear it in a variety of digital audio formats. A bonus DVD-Audi...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Simon Rattle, Berlin Philharmonic
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: DTS, Classical
Studio: EMI Classics
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 05/06/2003
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2003
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 3hr 14min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
Edition: Classical
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Beautifully played
R. J. Claster | Van Nuys, CA United States | 07/12/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This performance of the Mahler 5th, like that of Barenboim's with the Chicago Symphony, is a very fine middle of the road interpretation in high quality sound, perhaps a bit more imaginative in places, but not radically different. The biggest difference I hear is between the basic sound of the two ensembles. Compared to Chicago, the Berlin Phil has a noticably sweeter sound, especially in the strings. In the adagietto movement for strings and harp, this difference becomes quite apparent. Furthermore, the brass does not stand out in the mix, as it does with Chicago, but instead, is more blended in with the rest of the orchestra. Take your choice, or get both."
Doesn't get any better than this.....
J Scott Morrison | 06/02/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Unbelievable performance! They definitely picked the right conductor to succeed Abbado."
Buy it!
Emile Myburgh | Constantia South Africa | 03/01/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a stunning recording, and it certainly makes one wish that more Mahler symphonies would appear on DVD. Rattle uses a huge orchestra, and follows Mahler's own instruction to let the solo horn player play in front of the orchestra in the third movement. This adds a wonderful element to the performance because one can see more of the solo and the soloist, which is beautifully played."
Brilliant Mahler Five; The Jury's Still Out on Adès
J Scott Morrison | Middlebury VT, USA | 10/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"More and more I'm coming to feel that the way I want my Mahler is via DVD. There is something about seeing, as well as hearing, the orchestra and the conductor that conduces to a more satisfying experience. I've reviewed - glowingly - several Mahler DVD performances: the Ninth (glorious!), Fifth (celebratory), and the 'Resurrection' (No. 2), all conducted by one of my favorite conductors, Claudio Abbado. Here we have direct competition with the Abbado Fifth by his successor with the Berlin Philharmonic, Sir Simon Rattle. Well, as I see it, you can't go wrong with either version. This Fifth is really special. And, by the way, it is available separately on regular CD, too. This DVD comes with a separate DVD-A that contains the audio only of the symphony; I can't compare the sound of the DVD-A with the CD because I've not heard the CD, but the sound on the DVD-A is pretty spectacular, if you should want to go that route. This was Rattle's inaugural 2002 concert with the BPO after assuming Abbado's mantle, and the sense of occasion is palpable.

A few high points: Principal horn Stefan Dohr comes to the front of the orchestra for his gorgeously played solos in the Scherzo. The Berlin Philharmonic play like gods and, mirabile dictu, I see them smiling much of the time! That's got to be at least partly a reaction to Rattle's irresistible enthusiasm. Those Berlin strings are unbeatable (except, some would say, by the Vienna Philharmonic) in, for instance, the pizzicati in the Scherzo and, even more impressive, in the Adagietto, which is certainly a love song in this performance. And it leads right up to a joyful finale. Yes, there is the dark undercurrent present, too, but as Rattle says of Mahler's position in this matter, 'love and counterpoint will remedy anything.'

The curtain raiser in this concert was 'Asyla' by the aging British Wunderkind, Thomas Adès. I will say straight off that I'm not a big fan of Mr Adès's music. While acknowledging his talent, I haven't found much of his to my own taste. Still, 'Asyla' is a brilliant tour de force of orchestration if nothing else, although as Martin Anderson comments in a review I'd read some months ago, it seems to be running in place throughout its twenty-minute length.

The bottom line: this is a magnificent Mahler Fifth, different from Abbado's in that it has more chiaroscuro, and equally valid. The extras include an interview of Rattle by Nicholas Kenyon. Sound is PCM Stereo, DTS 5.1 or Dolby Digital 5.1, and it is quite lifelike. One notices, momentarily, that when the camera is in the orchestra looking towards the conductor the audio perspective reverses so that first violins seem to be on the right, seconds on the left. Odd, even understandable, and not too bothersome.

Scott Morrison"