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Stephen D Chakwin Jr
American Record Guide, July 2013

The strengths of the reading are its straightforward integrity and dramatic sense.

The first movement’s grim march and passionate response are well set forth, as is the second’s eerie reverse image of the first.

The big scherzo is presented with lyricism and intensity…

It’s nice to have the Adagietto flow forward as elegantly as it does here…

The finale is well built and exciting.

For a 1951 performance, this is impressive.

If you’re a Rosbaud devotee or interested in the performance history of this piece, you might find this interesting. Otherwise, it’s a perfectly fine reading, capably…conceived and played…

The sound is good for its time. © 2013 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

David Hurwitz, July 2013

This 1951 radio broadcast from WDR is nothing short of amazing…you will be hard pressed to find a fresher, more exciting, more intense Mahler Fifth on disc. Hans Rosbaud…and the Cologne Radio Orchestra attack the piece with a truly impressive level of commitment. They play hard, and Rosbaud’s swift, take-no-prisoners approach is captured in very good mono sound for its era.

There are two qualities in Rosbaud’s interpretation that stand out particularly. First, there is the wide dynamic range, more than adequately captured by the engineers. The climaxes all have tremendous impact…Second, Rosbaud emphasizes Mahler’s detailed tempo variations with remarkable precision, capturing the music’s eruptive qualities as have very few others.

No Mahlerian can afford to miss this performance. © 2013 Read complete review

John Quinn
MusicWeb International, April 2013

I detect no lack of feeling or expressiveness in Rosbaud’s reading and he is not afraid to deploy a judicious amount of portamento. It’s good to hear a straightforward approach to this music.

The Cologne orchestra offers spirited playing and Rosbaud is fully in command of the music—as, indeed, he is throughout the symphony…

The sound is perfectly acceptable, especially given its vintage. There is a useful note by Kenneth Woods.

This release provides evidence that the reputation that Hans Rosbaud enjoyed among his fellow musicians was justified. His Mahler Fifth is a notable addition to the symphony’s discography and is well worth hearing. I congratulate ICA Classics on their enterprise in issuing it. © 2013 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Gary Lemco
Audiophile Audition, February 2013

The Mahler Fifth resurrected by ICA derives from a Cologne Radio session 22 October 1951 taped in preparation for broadcast. The recorded sound more than resonates with the various furies that engulf this score, with its martial trumpet call—for Mahler the very incursion of Mortality—to the often sweeping moments of emotional paroxysm and personal lamentation. Rosbaud allows something of the Nineteenth Century rhythmic license and portamento to infiltrate the first movement, without sacrificing the nearly hysterical vehemence that Mahler frequently demands. The magnificent horn and tympanic peroration at the Storm’s last pages whirls more in the Mitropoulos vein, another Mahler acolyte reveling in his own distinctive approach.

Muscular and sensitively wrought at once, the Rosbaud conception achieves a sense of dignity and unity within the knotty whirlwinds of contradictory forces that define Mahler’s interior world, spacious as its tormented loves will permit. © 2013 Audiophile Audition Read complete review

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