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Mahler: Symphony No. 5

Düsseldorf Symphony Orchestra/Adám Fischer (

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

Mahler Symphony No. 5
Düsseldorf Symphony Orchestra/Adám Fischer
Avi 8553395 69:54 mins


The Mahler of Adám Fischer, as opposed to Iván (better known perhaps outside his native land), reached us rather belatedly here in the third instalment of his Düsseldorf cycle, with a perfectly articulated interpretation of the First Symphony. The Fifth’s myriad worlds aren’t all so unstintingly captured here – Fischer’s elastic sense of tempo can be stretched to extremes in the Adagietto, which settles on both the fast and slow sides at various points, but never for quite long enough, though whether you like it or not will be a matter of taste. What remains outstanding is the textural clarity – lightly worn so that perhaps the trickiest movement in the Mahler canon, the endlessly stormy second, does not outstay its welcome – and among the clearest renderings on disc of the finale’s teeming fugues. The scherzo does, for once, sound as Mahler implied by his subtitle ‘the world without gravity’, though the horn-calls certainly stop it commandingly in its tracks. Fischer also hits and weights climaxes to perfection – the outer ones of the Adagietto as much as the great apocalypse of the opening funeral march – and wins colossal resonance from his Düsseldorf brass where necessary. A peerless trumpet rides the first-movement welters impressively, too. The strings may not be the weightiest in the business, but every phrase is beautifully detailed and projected.


David Nice