Now available in discrete multi-channel surround SACD as well as the CD recording!
The conductor and orchestra whose live Telarc recording of the Mahler 9th Symphony (CD-80527) was called "searing," "definitive," and "remarkably moving," by critics around the world here return to give a powerful performance of Symphony No. 5. The 9th achieved near-legendary status with Mahler lovers, who have eagerly awaited a second recording.
Included with this recording, as with the previous one, is a bonus discussion disc by the conductor. Drawing upon his many years of studying and conducting the works of this composer, Zander elucidates the complexities in the score for the listener, using meaningful examples from a host of other works in a variety of musical genres.
"Mahler's music, better than any other," says Zander in the booklet notes, "expresses all [the] qualities of his age." The composer saw his Symphony No. 5, composed in 1901-2, as a complete departure from what had gone before. He made revisions over a six-year period of time, and expressed dismay over the fact that his initial score was "written so much like a beginner." Mahler abandoned the use of the texts (and the songs he had written based on them) from the folk verse collection Des Knaben Wunderhorn for the creation of this symphony, and its style, while retaining elements of his earlier musical language, reflects his quest for a new idiom.
The symphony is in five movements, grouped into three parts. The first movement is a "Funeral March," which gives way to "Stormily agitated," and the end of Part I. Part II contains a wild Scherzo, in the style of a Viennese dance movement. "The...Scherzo," says Zander, "takes the Viennese Waltz, which we know Mahler loved, and pushes it over the brink into a forced, merciless gaiety." Part III continues with a peaceful Adagietto for harp and strings that leads into an exuberant, joyful Finale in D major.
Zander, British-born and based in Boston, has been the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic since its foundation in 1978. He began working regularly with the Philharmonia in 1995, conducting a series of Mahler symphonies to extraordinary critical acclaim. In addition to his recording of the Mahler 9th, Benjamin Zander has made a disc for Telarc of the Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 and No. 7 (CD-80471). Upcoming in August 2001 will be a recording of Mahler's 4th Symphony. With Rosamund Stone Zander, the conductor recently co-authored a book titled The Art of Possibility, published by the Harvard Business School Press.