Gustav Mahler (1860-1911)

Symphony no. 5: Scherzo: Kräftig, nicht zu schnell

Gustav Mahler’s Fifth Symphony was a work Solti would always associate with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He performed it (along with the Sixth Symphony and Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen) during his first season as music director in Chicago (1969-1970), and it was part of their first tour program together, to Carnegie Hall in New York. “The applause seemed endless; they had fallen under the spell of our exceptional performance. I had never experienced such an overwhelming phenomenon in my life” (Memoirs, 168). The work was both the first and last Mahler symphony he recorded with the orchestra, the former occasion his very first recording with the CSO in March 1970, the latter a live recording from performances at Vienna’s Musikverein in November 1990, seven years after the completion of the orchestra’s acclaimed recorded cycle of the Mahler symphonies for Decca/London Records. Mahler’s Fifth also served as the last work Solti was to conduct in concert: seven weeks before his death, he led performances with the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich on 12-13 July 1997.

Solti's last concerts.
Gustav Mahler. Symphony no. 5 in c-sharp minor: III. Scherzo. Perf. Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich. Recorded at Tonhalle, Zürich, 12 & 13 July 1997 (Decca 475 9153). Record Collection CD 33697

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