April 18, 2023

“Mahler Symphony No. 5” is BBC Music Magazine’s Orchestral Choice of the Month

“Rafael Payare clearly sees this teeming, almost over-rich score as a vibrant, purposeful whole.” 

Mahler Symphony No. 5, performed by Rafael Payare and the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, received an outstanding review in May Issue of BBC Music Magazine!

Hand on heart, it’s a long while since I’ve enjoyed a new Mahler Five as much as this.

Yes, Mahler can perform the emotional equivalent of a handbrake turn, even a quantum jump, at times, but a really good performance can show how potentially baffling switches of texture and expression are all part of an evolving story, told with searing honesty – no smoothing out the cracks and wrinkles in the name of aesthetic propriety. The sudden switch from tragic collapse at the end of the second movement to oddly upbeat waltzing at the start of the Scherzo has rarely felt so natural: life goes on, however bizarrely.

Stephen Johnson