MAHLER: Symphoy No. 5 in C sharp minor
Leipzig Gewandhaus Orch/Riccardo Chailly, cond.
ACCENTUS DVD 10284 TT: 97:32 incl. bonus
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BRAHMS: A German Reqiem, Op. 45
Barbara Bonney, soprano; Byrn Terfel, baritone; Swedish Radio Choir. Berlin Philharmonic Orch/Claudio Abbado, cond.
EUROARTS DVD TT: 79 min.
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'FINALES"
Music of Beethoven, Dvorák, Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Prokofiev, Mahler, Lincke, Fischer and Kollo
RIAS Kammerchor. Berlin Philharmonic Orch/Claudi Abbado, cond.
EUROARTS DVD TT: 188 min.
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This Mahler Symphony No. 5 is from performances in February 2013, part of a Mahler cycle presented in the Gewandhaus. This site has praised previous issues of other performances in the series: Symphonies 2 and 8 (REVIEW), Symphony No. 4 (REVIEW), and Symphony No. 6 (REVIEW). This performance is of equal merit. Of interest is Chailly's ideas of the famous Adagietto; he moves it along (8:39) unlike most conductors today who play it considerably slower. The Leipzig orchestra is a virtuoso group and they play gloriously. Video and audio are state-of-the art, and a bonus features Chailly discussing his concept of the symphony. How fortunate we are to have DVDs available of this symphony with conductors Claudio Abbado (Lucerne Festival Orchestra) (REVIEW) and Valery Gergiev (World Orchestra for Peace), all winners. Chailly now joins this distinguished group.

April 3, 1997 was the date of this performance of the Brahms German Requiem when the Berlin Philharmonic visited Vienna's Musikverein, Abbado's reverent approach to this mystic score is ever apparent, and at the soft conclusion he stands motionless for 40 seconds. The two soloists could not be bettered, the orchestra and chorus are superb. Video beautifully captures the visual glories of the venue, and audio is excellent stereo. No texts, but subtitles are provided. A quality issue!

"Finales" is a joy! It was the New Year's Eve concert 1999, a major happy celebration. The program featured full-scale musical climaxes. The large chorus was heard in the finale of Ravel's Daphnis and Chloe, a movement from Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky and the concluding Sunrise from Schoenberg's Gurrelieder. The huge orchestra (including 4 harps) played the final movements from Beethoven's Symphony No. 7, Dvorák's Symphony No. 8, Mahler's Symphony No. 5, and Stravinsky's Firebird. Then, for fluff, we have Nicolai's overture The Merry Wives of Windsor and short crowd-pleasers by Kollo and Lincke ending with the rousing Berliner Luft with the capacity audience enthusiastically joining in. At the time, Claudio Abbado was in good health, and obviously enjoying himself. What a delightful concert! Video and audio are superb. Don't miss this one!

R.E.B. (June 2014)

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