Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Tennstedt in his element
Paul Bubny | Maplewood, NJ United States | 12/19/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The late Klaus Tennstedt, distinctive and committed Mahlerian that he was, apparently preferred live performance to the recording studio. So this live 1988 Mahler Fifth, while the same basic conception as his studio version of nine years earlier, carries an extra charge of electricity and inspiration. For me, it presents the greatest contrast between the emotional extremes implicit in this score--while also being a thoroughly musical account. Whether the conductor's emotional involvement here stemmed from this concert being his return to music-making after undergoing treatment for cancer, I don't know; suffice to say that everybody on stage gives it their all. The only demerit this hard-to-find CD warrants is for the rather dingy recording job."
Experriencing Tennstedt in concert, where he thrived
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 12/02/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Klaus Tennstedt is steadily building a great posthumous legacy, thanks largely to live concert recordings issued on various labels, primarily BBC Legend and Profil. It must have been rustrating for his own label, EMI, to realize that they had a great conductor on their hands who eulisvely didn't turn in many great eprformances for them. Tennstedt was inhibited in the studio, and in addition his nerves and an ongoing battle with cancer added their own problems. This 1988 Mahler 5th with the London Phil. is one of two live readings that I know of. The other, on the pirate label Memories, is with the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. It's in fuzzy sound covered with a thick veil of hiss, yet there's no denying that the Dutch orchestra plays circles around the London one.
Tennstedt's approach is well summarized by the reviewer below: he offes extremes of emotion and tempo. The opening trumpet solo is so slow that it immediately announces a very different reading form the norm. Tennstedt sees the funeral-march tempo as essentially tragic, intrrupted by hysterical outbursts at a much faster tempo. It's very convincing to me, and so is his shaping of every bar in the second movement, although the Gramophone reviewer looked upon it as fussy massaging. Other listeners may agree with that point of view, but no less a conductor than Mahler himself took enormous personal liberties with every bar (as we know from existing piano rolls where he plays portions of the Fourth Sym.), so Tennstedt is in the right spirit. The Adagietto becomes tragically expressive in his hands. Indeed, only the finale relieves an overall impression of conflict, anguish, and doom -- just what the composer intended. Overall, I think we are hearing one of the great Mahler conductors speaking in his truest voice."