Don't Miss This!
D. Roth | Pleasant Hill, Ca | 06/01/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I know there are dozens of really great Mahler 5th's out there... But Kubelik never got the recognition he deserved, and this disc should finally make the case for him as a truly masterful interpreter of Mahler's work. This 5th has all the color,organization, and feeling of the 1970 studio recording. The orchestra plays with even more blazing virtuosity however, and the performance itself explores the work's expressive extremes with riveting breadth and power. The outer movements project massive energy and drama. the scherzo contains some brilliant individual and emsemble playing from the winds; and , at about 10:30, the Adagietto is sensuous but not a series of static episodes. The transition fom the Adagietto to the Rondo-Finale is in fact the finest I have ever heard, the orch. players really playing off of each other with stunning clarity.This was a live Bavarian Radio Broadcast. The balances are beautifully done with a genuine 'balcony seat' perpective. The sound image is recessed by current digital standards so maximum clarity, especially in densely scored passages, is sacrficed. Solo passages sound fabulous however, and when the whole band kicks in at climaxes...If you don't know Kubelik's work, this will be a discovery. If, like me, you already have too many Mahler 5th's, wasn't this the performance you were searching for anyway?? Enjoy."
One of the finest
R. J. Claster | Van Nuys, CA United States | 07/22/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Like his live recording of the Mahler 9th (also on Audite), this also is an extremely well balanced interpretation. Kubelik conveys the power and drive in the climactic moments, but tempers this with breadth and nuance of phrasing that enables him to bring out the more lyrical and reflective moments as well. In fact, of the performances of this that I have reviewed on this site I may like this the best overall. It is not marred by being overdriven, in distinction to the 1970 Solti-Chicago, and the recorded sound is way more natural in both tonal quality and perspective. Moreover, I find Kubelik to be more flexible and imaginative than Barenboim-Chicago without, however, either the self-conscious molding of phrases which at times mars the the Rattle-Berlin account, or pulling the music apart (as some have accused Bernstein of doing in his 1987 Vienna Philharmonic recording on DG). Arguably, the BRSO may not have quite the virtuosity of either the Chicago, Berlin or Vienna ensembles, but they are close. I definitely would recommend this recording to Mahler lovers."
A very good live Fifth in Kubelik's natural style
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 09/01/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I admire Rafael Kubelik, and although he had a checkered career in the U.S., having been railroaded out of Chicago after a brief period as chief conductor in the early Fifties, he had greatness in him. This Mahler Fifth displays his musical stature. The Bavarian Radio Orchestra wasn't the equal of truly great Mahler orchestras in Vienna, Berlin, London, and New York, but Kubelik is so musical that he draws unwavering attention to the music without virtuoso effects.
Since Kubelik's heyday in Munich in the Seventies, we've become used to more power, intensity, and detail than is heard here. Kubelik's virtue is that he doesn't over-emote. The music never tips over the edge into violence, hysteria, or bathos. The line thrusts forward at all times; the phrasing is direct and unmannered. To my ears the first moement should sound more tragic, the second more volcanic. I find the Scherzo almost jaunty. The famous Adagietto, taken moderately (10 min.) is simple, lyrical, and unforced. The relaxed gait of the finale comes as a bit of a surprise, but Kubelik's steady hand holds this problematic movement togethr without quite solving its puzzles.
I realize that I seem to be temporizing, but frankly a good Mahler Fifth, even a very good one, isn't the same as an inspired one. Kubelik's is very good."