Originally Posted by PSmith08
I always liked Abbado's '93 recording of the 5th with the Berliner in the Philharmonie. It is a solid (workmanlike is far too derogatory, but probably very fair) performance, and this Gramophone reviewer seems to like it quite a bit. I don't know if it's that good, but Abbado clearly had tamed Herbert von Karajan's Philharmonie by '93 and has a good grasp of the material. Also, it is very well recorded. I don't think it is as well-recorded as Kaplan's '03 2nd, but it isn't bad by a longshot. Reference recording? It is for me, but I am not the Mahlerite that others are.
Of course, it's worth noting that Rattle began his public tenure as the principal conductor of the Berliner with Mahler's 5th.
I only got around to picking up a copy of this recording fairly recently, and I was quite delighted with it. Some of Abbado's Berlin forays have been a little over-refined, but this one is vintage Mahler.