Mahler: Symphony No 5 / David Briggs
Number of Discs:
1 Hours 12 Mins.
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Notes and Editorial Reviews
Before considering David Briggs' transcription of Gustav Mahler's Symphony no. 5 or his performance of it, it is important to note that Briggs is a British organist playing a British organ. Transcribed for and performed on a French organ, the result would be more "symphonic," as French organ-builders have leaned much more toward imitating the sounds of instruments and voices. The organ of Gloucester Cathedral, however, is a 20th-century rebuilding of what is essentially a 17th-century instrument. The effect on Briggs' transcription is that rather than attempting to produce an orchestral sound, he reconceived the work to sound well on the organ.
All of that said, Briggs has done an admirable job of carrying off Mahler's symphony in his
own medium--although the specific sounds are different, he has captured the work's essences. His playing is superb, from the smallest pianissimos of the Adagietto to the full-out, both-hands-both-feet finale. Expect an organ symphony and you're in for an engaging listen; expect an orchestral symphony and you'll be disappointed...until you listen again! Read less
Works on This Recording
Symphony no 5 in C sharp minor by Gustav Mahler
David Briggs (Organ)
Written: 1901-1902; Vienna, Austria
Date of Recording: 04/1998
Venue: Gloucester Cathedral, England
Length: 71 Minutes 39 Secs.
Notes: Transcribed: David Briggs
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Goodness Rating - Mixed Bag September 12, 2012
By W. Wilborn (Richwood, TX) See All My Reviews
"Mahler's 5th Symphony is challenging but interesting listing. Briggs' organ transcription of this symphony is monumental, with the first movement being really great and well crafted for the organ; but I found very little musical beauty in two (2) of the five movements, with the final movement being just too long and boisterous. Briggs indicated in the booklet that he'd always had an attraction to Mahler's 5th, but perhaps the results would have been better had he kept complex parts more simple so that the essense of No.5 would shine through. With that said, the sound was sufficiently good, and I would assume that a real organ buff would like this work a bit better than I have, so I can suggest only a conditional recommendation to buy."