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Mahler Symphony No.5.

Budapest Festival Orchestra/Fischer/Channel Classics (theguardian.com)

Mahler’s Fifth Symphony (1902), sometimes compared with Beethoven’s own of that number, begins with a sombre roar of fate and ends in triumph. After the opening trumpet cry, strings take over in muffled funereal gloom, setting the mood for the enormous five-movement work, the fourth of which is the celebrated Adagietto for strings and harp. Having recorded symphonies 1, 2, 4 and 6 to high praise, the great partnership of Iván Fischer and his Budapest players make music of supreme intimacy and vitality. They endow the work with a poise and lyricism too often sacrificed in favour of frenzied intensity. Abbado, Rattle, Bernstein, Chailly: you’re spoilt for choice in this much recorded work. This might yet prove a favourite.