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I own two previous issues on CD of this Leinsdorf Mahler 5 from BMG/RCA, but neither captures the stunning sound quality achieved by RCA ace engineer Lewis Layton in this superb analog recording from Leinsdorf's first season as Boston Symphony Music Director (1962-1963). I regularly admire Leinsdorf's Mahler usually for its transparency of texture and classical poise ... but in this recording Leinsdorf turned out all the stops and he and the BSO deliver one of the most passionate -- as well as perfectly articulated -- performances of Mahler on recording. I ordered HDTT's CD (made from an RCA 15 ips tape source) and I am absolutely bowled over by the immediacy of its sound quality. A beautiful projection of the BSO as an ensemble playing in one of the world's most acoustically celebrated concert halls, yet with plenty of detail from the BSO's sections make for an absolutely riveting experience. Once again, thanks to HDTT for rescuing an unjustifiably neglected recording and presenting it in jaw-dropping fidelity!
Leinsdorf's Mahler 5 was my introduction to the composer's music - I was a teenager, the perfect age to encounter Mahler. It remains, along with Bruno Walter's classic account, my favorite recording of the score. I have always appreciated it's musicality coupled with virtuoso execution by the Boston Symphony. The winds and brass players - all legends themselves- have a unique character; the strings are top notch. Leinsdorf's trademark transparent textures and rhythmic clarity let one hear every detail in this multifaceted score without the hysteria, not to mention rather poor ensemble and unpleasant string sound of Bernstein's NY account or the chilly and for me, unmusical Boulez. Leinsdorf hasn't always fared well with the critics which has always puzzled me. I hope that we can hear more of his Boston work (and perhaps the early Rochester recordings as well) in your extraordinary transfers.
Title: Mahler Symphony No. No. 5 in C sharp minor
Artist(s): Erich Leinsdorf conducts The Boston Symphony Orchestra
Horn – James Stagliano
Trumpet – Roger Voisin
Recording Info: Recorded 1963 at Boston Symphony Hall by RCA Records
Engineer - Lewis Layton Producer - Richard Mohr
1 Trauermarsch: In Gemessenem Schritt. Streng. Wie Ein Kondukt 11:34
2 Stürmisch Bewegt, Mit Grösster Vehemenz 13:01
3 Scherzo: Kräftig, Nicht Zu Schnell 17:24
4 Adagietto: Sehr Langsam 8:30
5 Rondo-Finale: Allegro 14:05
Total Time: 64:41