No. 5 in C# Minor
Netherlands Philharmonic Orch/Hartmut Haenchen, cond.
PENTATONE PTC 5186 004 TT: 68:27 (5 channel)
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Recorded live during a concert in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam in March
2001 before a remarkably silent audience, this is a performance of
Mahler's Fifth that does not challenge versions by Bernstein, Abbado,
Chailly, Haitink or many other conductors; it does have a refreshing
Adagietto that times in at 8:54, a few minutes faster than most of
the others although still more leisurely than Mengelberg's pioneering
recording which takes but 7:06. Haenchen (b. 1943) has never
made the major ranks of conductors; he is represented in the CD catalog
of Brahms, Bruckner (Symphony No. 3), Liszt (Dante Symphony) and
Mahler (Symphony No. 6), issued on the budget Laserlight label,
and by many recordings of music of C.P.E. Bach. He is very active
on Holland's music scene as conductor of the Netherlands Opera, the
Netherlands Philharmonic and Netherlands Chamber Orchestra. The
multi-channel recording is rather disappointing, quite distant, overly-resonant
and bass heavy; Pentatone has some magnificent
multi-channel SACDs; this, unfortunately, is not one of them.
SCHMIDT: Symphony No.
4 in C. Excerpts from Notre Dame
Netherlands Philharmonic Orch/Yakov Kreizberg, cond.
PENTATONE PTC 5186 015 TT: 60:25 (5 channel)
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This fine performances holds
up admirably to recordings of the symphony by Neemi J”rvi and Zubin MehtaKreizberg is one of the finest of today's younger conductors.
fully understands the nature of Schmidt's masterpiece which reflects the composer's
tragic life. Gustav Mahler had a personal animosity for Schmidt and did
what he could to diminish the young cellist and composer. Schmidt's wife
was in a mental institution and their daughter died when only ten. The
subtitle of the 45-minute symphony is "Requiem for my daughter." It
opens with a rather sad trumpet melody, a 'final salute' as it were, repeated
towards the end as well, and includes a powerful funeral march with a sense
of tragedy and sonorities reminiscent of Parsifal. The suite
from the opera Notre Dame is also well-played with appropriately rich
strings in the sensuous Intermezzo.This recording was made in the Yakult
Hall of the "Beurs van Berlage" in Amsterdam, Aug. 29-30, 2002.The
engineers have provided a big, rather distant pickup, a touch heavy
and undefined on the bass end, with rear channels providing ambient sound.
R.E.B. (Next Surround Review)