Records: Classical and Jazz

Mahler: 5th Symphony. Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Daniele Gatti
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CLASSICAL

Mahler: 5th Symphony. Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Daniele Gatti (Conifer, CD). With audiences and players beginning to register an embarras de Mahler, it would broadly speaking be a good idea to have less rather than more of him on disc. But this particular release is an exception. It proclaims Daniele Gatti as a masterful Mahlerian: sympathetic, uninhibited, and generous in his emotions. It declares the strength and depth of his involvement with the RPO. And it confirms the orchestra's surviving qualities after a period of unreliability and low morale. Apply the litmus test of Mahler 5 interpretations - the speed of the Adagietto - and you'll find Gatti unfashionably slow. But in this case it's no guide to the rest of the interpretation; and throughout the score the tempi respond flexibly and easily to changing moods, beginning with disarmingly brisk fanfares and a general buoyancy of spirit. Probably the finest disc the RPO has made in ages: you could do far worse within the crowded Mahler market. Michael White

JAZZ

Robert Wyatt: Rock Bottom/ Ruth is Stranger Than Richard (Hannibal, CD). The Wyatt revival continues apace with the re-release of his 1974 masterpiece, Rock Bottom, and 1975's follow-up recording, with even more to follow soon. Wheezing mockney vocals, querulous guitar from Hugh Hopper, and strange unearthly arrangements in which time appears to stand still, characterise these heart-rendering missives, flung into the Seventies void shortly after the accident that was to confine their author to a wheelchair for life. The new sleeve-notes to Rock Bottom also reveal Wyatt to be a writer of unusual talent. An autobiography surely needs to be commissioned soon. Phil Johnson

Various Artists: The Very Best of Latin Jazz (Global, CD) Mid-price, 145 minutes' worth of Latin and Brazilian favourites, including "Mais Que Nada" by Sergio Mendes, and Jim Hall and Chet Baker's version of "Conceirto de Aranjuez" from Sketches of Spain. PJ

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