Mahler: Symphony No. 5

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LABELS: EMI Studio Plus
WORKS: Symphony No. 5
PERFORMER: New Philharmonia Orchestra/John Barbirolli
CATALOGUE NO: COM 7 64749 2 ADD (1969)
Loose ensemble and the odd wrong entry come second to the earthy spirit of Barbirolli’s Mahler. This baggy monster lumbers its way to well-earned victory; however tentative the playing, you can always feel the conductor’s shaping force towards climaxes (and he’s certainly Toscanini’s equal in his vocal contribution). The end result may not be as magisterial in its urgency as Wyn Morris’s (see June reissues), but it plays fairer with both dynamics and the adegietto. Vintage EMI sound quality. David Nice