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  EBS -
  ebs 6144
  Mahler: Symphony No. 5 - Iimori
  Mahler: Symphony No. 5

Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen
Norichika Iimori (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Related titles: 1

Reviews: 1

Review by mwagner1962 May 25, 2005 (8 of 8 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
I am totally stunned by this recording, and I hesitate to call this abomination an SACD. I cannot believe that any serious recording engineer, producer, or recording executive would let something like this be released. I guess that this recording is the dark proof for what people have been saying for several years..."just because it says "SACD" does not mean it is a great recording". Where is the PCM or DSD conversion?? This could only be some poor attempt to take a poorly recorded DDD effort and try and convert it to SACD..YUCK!!!

Where do I start??? Good grief, the sound, or lack of. On any of the big climaxes, the sound becomes so incredibly muddy and thick. The poor horns are lost in a mass of thick opaque noise that renders their attempts almost useless. There is absolutely no sparkle, no shimmer, strings do not sound like strings, clarinets sound thin, the trumpet soloist sounds like he is in the next county. And this is just the beginning.

Think I am being too harsh?? Well, I pulled out two other SACD recordings of Mahler #5, one with Zander/Philharmonia Orchestra (Telarc SACD-60569) and one with Hartmut Haenschen/Netherlands Philharmonic (PentaTone 5186 004)....there is simply no comparison in sound quality. Both recordings have what the EBS does not...air, space, for goodness sakes, woodwinds that sound like woodwinds, brass that are not relegated to back stage.....the Telarc and PentaTone sounds like orchestras playing Mahler, whereas I do not know what the poor orchestra on the EBS was trying to attain via this recording (though it is not the orchestra's fault).

I do not want to be 100% negative here, as I must say that the orchestra plays quite well (when their sound is not being destroyed by the goofs in the control room). Maestro Iimori has what I suspect to be a pretty darn good orchestra under his baton, and he has a good sense of Mahler's music. The musical lines are well spaced and his feel for the music is evident. I can only imagine what this performance would have sounded like with a better recording team in control.

Counting the Telarc and PentaTone, I have a total of 12 recordings of Mahler's 5th (Solti, Baremboim, Bernstein, Mehta, von Karajan, Rattle, etc), and memories of over a dozen live performances (Royal Phil, Cleveland, Chicago SO, etc) and no previous recording or performance, and I mean NONE have ever elicited such a negative reaction as I got from this recording (remember, the recording, not the performance).

This SACD is going bye bye for good. STAY AWAY from this one!!!

My $.02

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Works: 1  

Gustav Mahler - Symphony No. 5 in C sharp minor