If Solti's excitement or Bernstein's explosiveness are what you want in a Mahler Fifth, you might stay away from Jaap van Zweden's Fifth recorded live with the London Philharmonic Orchestra in January 2008. But if Bernard Haitink's sanity and de Waart's lucidity are more to your liking, this Fifth may be acceptable. Van Zweden's tempos are sensible, his dynamic range measured, his colors blended, his structures sculpted, and his interpretation reasonable. With the polished and professional playing of the London musicians, van Zweden creates performances that reveal neither the ecstatic heights nor the abysmal depths of Mahler's Fifth. Don't come to this disc looking for a nihilistic "Stürmisch bewegt," a ravishing Adagietto, or a riotous Rondo. Instead, van Zweden prefers to give a guided tour of the work that never threatens to step off the straight and narrow. LPO's sound is clean and evocative, a wonderful combination.
AllMusic Review by James Leonard
|Symphony No. 5 in C sharp minor|