Iván Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra began their audiophile Mahler cycle in 2005 with the release of the Sixth Symphony, and with subsequent releases of the Second, Fourth, and First on Channel Classics, they now have a clear track record of their approach. Fischer is inclined to use a lot of rubato in Mahler and to take occasional liberties with dynamics, so his interpretations will not be to every listener's taste, least of all to those who have already formed their preferences from studying classic recordings. However, the playing here has a visceral excitement that in large part comes from Fischer's spontaneous shifts of tempo and volume, and the unpredictability of the performance keeps the emotional tension high. Add to that the exceptional audio quality, which captures every detail in the roomy and vibrant acoustic, and this recording of the Fifth may attract listeners who otherwise have become jaded from hearing too many cookie-cutter performances. Considering how frequently the Fifth Symphony is performed, and the large number of recordings that are available, shaking things up may be Fischer's best gambit to stand out from the rest.
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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Symphony No. 5 in C sharp minor|