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Album: Mahler, Symphony No 5 – Tonhalle Orchestra (RCA Red Seal)

David Zinman's Mahler cycle with the Tonhalle Orchestra is shaping up to be one of the most consistent cycles.

The sound is crisp and balanced, the articulation clean, the blend impressive, the dynamic range carefully calibrated, the transitions never less than coherent. In the Fifth Symphony's strange jigsaw of the heroic, the natural, the angst-ridden and the erotic, Zinman's role is less interpreter than choreographer. Aided by some spectacular playing from the Zurich horns and a woodwind section who sound like sardonic wildfowl in the second movement, he presents a performance of cool clarity.

Pick of the Album: Ducks, geese and thunder clouds in 'Stürmisch bewegt'