Symphony No. 5

Album cover art for upc 760623207063
Catalog: 9302070-6
Format: SACD


A beginning could not be lonelier and more desolate: only a single trumpet opens the “Funeral March” at the beginning of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 5. What is gripping already in the orchestral version is shockingly exposed in Otto Singer’s arrangement for piano four hands. With this recording premiere the Evelinde Trenkner-Sontraud Speidel Piano Duo reaches a new high point in its long discography, this time with a performance that is very moving emotionally. Along with the breathtaking beginning, the famous Adagietto not least plays its role here. As the film music in Visconti’s Death in Venice, this movement became a box-office hit. The piano version requires the most delicate touch and meticulous use of the pedal- music as if made to order for the Trenkner-Speidel Duo, which here has very advantageously applied its decades of experience with the transcription of symphonic scores. And then there is the fascinating clarity that Mahler’s symphony attains in the piano arrangement. Daring polyphonic structures suddenly come vividly into view, especially in the intricate rondo finale. And the interlocking in the opening cortege clearly assumes a more distinctive profile. Gustav Mahler authorized Singer’s piano version- but not before he had intervened to offer his own advice. Once again the Trenkner-Speidel Piano Duo shows that a “reduction” for the piano does not necessarily mean limitations. The new perspectives on what is perhaps an exceedingly familiar work offer surprising insights and compensate for many a wind solo. The mighty “Manfred Burki” Steinway D from the period of the symphony’s composition is captured in three dimensions on this recording and presented with painstaking precision on a Super Audio album- and the result is an authentic fin-de-siecle atmosphere.

Price: $22.99