Listen to this: Mahler 5, Abbado

I’m not a huge fan of Abbado’s conducting, but I do like his interpretation, overall, of Mahler 5. The first two movements sound the best I’ve ever heard them sound. There are so many subtle things that I was able to hear that I haven’t noticed from other recordings. The power and tragedy of the funeral march is brought through excellently, and the stormy savageness of the second movement is very stormy and savage. The scherzo was a bit odd for me, most notably the two eighth-notes followed by two-quarters rhythm that shows up throughout the movement is played rushed, which really threw me. But the horn obbligato was fantastic. The first few bars of the trio was quite rubato, which is not marked in the score at all. The Adagietto was not “Sehr langsam” at all. It was quite fast, relatively, and a lot of the expression that one is used to hearing from the music was missing, but I have to give some credit to Abbado, because he didn’t play it at circa 30bpm with massive doses of rubato like every other conductor alive/dead, so I approve of that. The finale didn’t start to seem like the joyous romp it is until somewhere near the middle. He also decided to follow the score and speed up to presto in the last few bars, which made the conclusion much more thrilling than I’m used to hearing it. The playing throughout is fantastic, so I’ll give my recommendation to this recording.

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About Why must you use all the notes

So much to do, so little reason to do so much of it...
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