After the highly acclaimed recordings of Mahler Symphonies no. 1, 2, 4 and 6 Iván Fischer and his Budapest Festival Orchestra now recorded the Fifth Sympony with its famous Adagietto in F major for strings and harp - one of the most intimate pieces that Mahler ever wrote for the orchestra.
Considered to be one of the best modern day interpreters of Gustav Mahler’s music, the Austrian musical director Manfred Honeck began his career as conductor of Vienna's Jeunesse Orchestra, which he co-founded. He went on to become assistant to Claudio Abbado with the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra in Vienna. After several highly successful guest appearances as conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra he was appointed its Director of Music in 2008. Honeck conducted the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in a thrilling, acclaimed performance of Mahler’s Fifth Symphony at last year’s BBC Proms.
Contrary to his recording of Symphony no. 4, Maazel’s recording of Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 get divided reviews. My opinion is pretty much like this one from Amazon.com:
This is one of the best Mahler 5 recordings I have heard. The Vienna Philharmonic sounds absolutely fabulous. Maazel's has recorded the whole Mahler cycle with Vienna. The performance of Mahler 4 has become very well known. The Mahler 5 seems to be not as popular. This might be because Bernstein also recorded a great live version with Vienna as well. Maazel's interpretation of the piece is very balanced and clear. Maazel brings to me what is a slightly more clear approach to this music, but still with great climaxes. I really like the opening movement and the third movement scherzo. The balance between all the sections is really amazing. You can hear every entrance and every voice. This is a triumph of the players and to the Sony recording engineers. I would highly recommend this Mahler recording to anyone.
A host of accomplished conductors including Daniel Harding, Daniele Gatti, Bernard Haitink and Eliahu Inbal lead the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in these performances of Mahler's Symphonies Nos. 1-10. Recorded in Amsterdam over two seasons in 2010/11, the collection also includes 'Das Lied von der Erde'.
It is a reading with a uniquely radiant atmosphere and one that I would urge you to add to your collection even if your instinct is to trust to grander symphonic visions and bigger names. - DSG, The Gramophone
It is a worthy contender and I recommend it. - Tony Duggan