Notes & Reviews:
Gustav Mahler's Symphony No.4 portrays another side of the composer, one hitherto unseen by the general public. No major battles are fought in this symphony; rather it is a childlike vision of life and a better world in the Hereafter. On this new Pentatone release, Marc Albrecht, its chief conductor, leads the Netherlands Philharmonic in performance of this work. The soprano Elizabeth Watts, whose voice was described by Int'l Record Review as "one of the most beautiful Britain has produced in a generation", is the touching last movement's featured soloist.
Gramophone Magazine, June 2015
Successively excited, rueful and at peace, [Watts] leaves extremes of colour to the orchestration around her... I especially enjoy Albrecht and the orchestra letting the sunshine into the Scherzo, and their negotiation of the first movement is classical in form and conception... in its self-effacing way, the performance is true to the symphony's deceptive charm.
American Record Guide, September/October 2015
This is a lovely and uniquely serene and mellow performance. There's a lot more to the symphony than you will hear here.
This work has been recorded many times and from many perspectives. Some of my favorites are Kletzki (the songfulness of this one with the darker and dramatic elements incorporated), Maazel (the VPO recording, rich in sound and mellow in viewpoint), Inbal (light and bright, joyful and lyrical), Karajan (beautiful and airborne), Horenstein (the shadows and dark intensity are always there), Haitink, and the classic Mengelberg (full of life and vibrancy with eccentric tempo changes that seem to be part of the music). There are also worthy performances by a host of others including Walter, Klemperer, Szell, Reiner, Kubelik, Previn, and Dohnanyi, and in the many complete Mahler sets.
This is a supplemental performance. Get it if you have a Mahler 4 that you already know and like. You will enjoy the lovely sound and the gentle vision here.
Recording information: NedPhO-Koepel, Amsterdam (06/2014).
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Works DetailsMahler, Gustav : Symphony no 4 in G major
- Conductor: Marc Albrecht
- Ensemble: Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra
- Running Time: 57 min. 8 sec.
- Period Time: Post Romantic
- Form: Orchestral
- Written: 1899-1900