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Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal|Mahler Symphony No. 5

Mahler Symphony No. 5

Orchestre Symphonique De Montreal

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Conductor Rafael Payare is the podium wunderkind of the moment, a product of the El Sistema system in Venezuela that produced Gustavo Dudamel. Recently elevated to the music directorship of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, he quickly made his debut with the group on this 2023 PentaTone Classics release, and his Mahler Symphony No. 5 is quite a promising thing. There is nothing epic about it, as there was with the classic recording of Leonard Bernstein. He does not try to turn the famed Adagietto into a transcendent counterpart of the Symphony No. 9 finale but rather moves through it songfully, cognizant of its status as a serenade to Alma Mahler. It is true that Mahler marked the movement Sehr langsam (very slowly), but the conductor who knew him best, Willem Mengelberg, took it at seven minutes, and so, apparently, did Mahler himself. Payare comes in at just under nine minutes, refreshing in comparison with Osmo Vänskä's 12 and a half plus with the Minnesota Orchestra, and it is the same with the rest. It is not so much that his tempos are quick; they are about average, but he keeps things moving. This is not the neurotic Mahler that Bernstein made the norm for so long, but one that moves implacably to the big collapsing climaxes. Payare's finale is unusually joyous. The Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal sounds great in a difficult work where conductors more often wait until they get better acquainted. PentaTone Classics moves confidently into the Maison symphonique in Montreal and finds a spacious acoustic that brings out the many details Payare finds in the score. One hopes for more Mahler from this combination.
© James Manheim /TiVo

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Mahler Symphony No. 5

Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal

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Symphony No. 5 in C-Sharp Minor (Gustav Mahler)

1
I. Trauermarsch. In gemessenem Schritt. Streng. Wie ein Kondukt.
Rafael Payare
00:12:05

Gustav Mahler, Composer - Orchestre Symphonique De Montreal, Orchestra, MainArtist - Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra - Rafael Payare, Conductor, MainArtist

2023 PENTATONE 2023 (P) PENTATONE

2
Ii. Stürmisch bewegt. Mit größter Vehemenz
Rafael Payare
00:14:05

Gustav Mahler, Composer - Orchestre Symphonique De Montreal, MainArtist - Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra - Rafael Payare, Conductor, MainArtist

2023 PENTATONE 2023 (P) PENTATONE

3
Iii. Scherzo. Kräftig, nicht zu schnell
Rafael Payare
00:17:46

Gustav Mahler, Composer - Orchestre Symphonique De Montreal, MainArtist - Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra - Rafael Payare, Conductor, MainArtist

2023 PENTATONE 2023 (P) PENTATONE

4
Iv. Adagietto. Sehr langsam.
Rafael Payare
00:08:56

Gustav Mahler, Composer - Orchestre Symphonique De Montreal, MainArtist - Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra - Rafael Payare, Conductor, MainArtist

2023 PENTATONE 2023 (P) PENTATONE

5
V. Rondo-finale. Allegro
Rafael Payare
00:15:06

Gustav Mahler, Composer - Orchestre Symphonique De Montreal, MainArtist - Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra - Rafael Payare, Conductor, MainArtist

2023 PENTATONE 2023 (P) PENTATONE

Album review

Conductor Rafael Payare is the podium wunderkind of the moment, a product of the El Sistema system in Venezuela that produced Gustavo Dudamel. Recently elevated to the music directorship of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, he quickly made his debut with the group on this 2023 PentaTone Classics release, and his Mahler Symphony No. 5 is quite a promising thing. There is nothing epic about it, as there was with the classic recording of Leonard Bernstein. He does not try to turn the famed Adagietto into a transcendent counterpart of the Symphony No. 9 finale but rather moves through it songfully, cognizant of its status as a serenade to Alma Mahler. It is true that Mahler marked the movement Sehr langsam (very slowly), but the conductor who knew him best, Willem Mengelberg, took it at seven minutes, and so, apparently, did Mahler himself. Payare comes in at just under nine minutes, refreshing in comparison with Osmo Vänskä's 12 and a half plus with the Minnesota Orchestra, and it is the same with the rest. It is not so much that his tempos are quick; they are about average, but he keeps things moving. This is not the neurotic Mahler that Bernstein made the norm for so long, but one that moves implacably to the big collapsing climaxes. Payare's finale is unusually joyous. The Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal sounds great in a difficult work where conductors more often wait until they get better acquainted. PentaTone Classics moves confidently into the Maison symphonique in Montreal and finds a spacious acoustic that brings out the many details Payare finds in the score. One hopes for more Mahler from this combination.
© James Manheim /TiVo

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