With the best will in the world, it is hard to do more than admire this performance of Mahler's Fifth Symphony. Norichika Iimori is a skilled conductor and he is sensitive to the subtleties and nuances of the music. The Württembergische Philharmonic Reutlingen is an accomplished orchestra and it is graceful and soulful in the music's lyrical pages. But the Philharmonic lacks the strength to bring enough power to the music's immense climaxes and Iimori lacks the control to bring enough order to the music's enormous developments. More significantly, Iimori and the Philharmonic together lack the heart to express the music's tragic depths and ecstatic heights. So, for all its grace and nuance, Iimori and the Philharmonic's performance is ultimately too lightweight to compete with Abbado's or Kubelík's or Karajan's or Solti's or a dozen others. EBS Records' super audio CD sound is astonishingly vivid and immediate, with astoundingly brilliant colors and amazingly clear textures.
AllMusic Review by James Leonard
|Symphony No. 5 in C sharp minor|