First off, let me say this is a very generous dvd, well over 2 hours long, with two long Mahler symphonies. This of course would mean nothing if the performances weren't excellent, but thankfully they are both yardsticks.
I actually slightly preferred #5 to #4, but not by much. Gergiev plays the Fifth to the hilt, with a crackerjack finale a good bit faster than Abbado's - very exciting, and brings the house down at this Proms concert at the Albert Hall. My only caveat here is that the adagietto is over 10 minutes long, a pet peeve of mine. This piece was written as a love song which Mahler sent to his wife-to-be Alma in piano score. This is supposed to be a 7-8 minute piece, but most conductors like to milk it so that it sounds like a dirge, not a passionate song of yearning. It is, however played very beautifully, better than most I've heard.
In the Fourth, Camilla Tilling makes a great soloist in the finale, and I also prefer this performance to both of Abbado's efforts.The requisite portamenti are observed in both symphonies.
This pick-up orchestra is composed of first and second chairs from orchestras all over the world, and they play their hearts out for Gergiev. He is a very interesting conductor to watch, working without a baton, and with a lot of finger-wiggling.
The visuals are much better than in Abbado's versions, better pinpointing of instrumentalists and camera angles.Sound is excellent, especially in dts surround, very full and clear, without any obvious compression.
This is really a bargain, under $20 for this much great music. Even if you like your Abbado versions, you'll love these versions better!
- Format: Blu-ray, Classical, Multiple Formats, Widescreen
- Language: German, English, French
- Subtitles: German, English, French, Japanese, Korean
- Region: All Regions
- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
- Number of discs: 1
- Studio: Naxos Deutschland Musik & Video Vertriebs-GmbH / Poing
- DVD Release Date: 30 Jun 2015
- Run Time: 154 minutes
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- ASIN: B00V857TOG