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Mahler - Symphony No.4 Hybrid SACD, SACD

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Product details

  • Audio CD (9 Mar. 2009)
  • Please Note: Requires SACD-compatible hardware
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Hybrid SACD, SACD
  • Label: Channel Classics
  • ASIN: B001PBCZ92
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 82,581 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
  1. Symphony No. 4 in G Major: I. Bedächtig, nicht eilen17:00Album Only
  2. Symphony No. 4 in G Major: II. In gemächlicher Bewegung, ohne Hast 9:35£0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Symphony No. 4 in G Major: III. Ruhevoll, poco adagio21:52Album Only
  4. Symphony No. 4 in G Major: IV. Sehr behaglich 8:35£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

Conductor Iván Fischer, a nominee for the 2008 Classic FM Gramophone Award for Artist of the Year, co-founder and Music Director of the Budapest Festival Orchestra, has been responsible for creating a vibrant orchestra with an enviable international touring profile which appears at all the major venues and festivals of the world. As a guest conductor Fischer works with the finest symphony orchestras of the world. He has been invited to the Berlin Philharmonic more than ten times, every year he leads two weeks of programs with the Royal Concert-Gebouw Orchestra. Besides his contract with the NSO of Washington, he works regularly with leading US symphony orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic and the Cleveland Orchestra.


The sleeve-notes for Ivan Fischer's new recording of Mahler's Fourth contain a statement by Fischer that initially makes one's heart sink. Culminating in a 'lovely vision of paradise', the symphony, Fischer argues, shows Mahler taking us 'to his own inner child, to his dreams of angels, fairytales, angst and pure divine love'. Concerns that we're in for an hour of unremitting sentimentality are mercifully unfounded. Childhood, in Mahler, is viewed as both an idealised lost Eden and a place of primal trauma - and Fischer is as interested in the abysses that threaten to open round this music as he is in its surface calm. The combination of naive excitement and indefinable menace is strikingly sustained throughout, while the final vision of paradise, coolly voiced by Miah Persson, is at once funny, savage and unbearably sad. Fischer's insistence that the symphony should be treated as chamber music means this won't appeal to those who like a high-decibel count in Mahler, but the Budapest Festival Orchestra's playing is exceptional in its dark-hued subtlety. It's a provocative, iconoclastic performance, and highly recommended. Tim Ashley - Friday 13 March 09 Tim Ashley --The Guardian - 5 out of 5 stars

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Klingsor Tristan VINE VOICE on 8 Sept. 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
How much rehearsal time does Ivan Fischer get with his Budapest Festival Orchestra? I raise the question simply because his Mahler recordings show such infinite and loving attention to detail in these, the most detailed of scores.

His Mahler 4 is no exception. The little squeezes of crescendo/decrescendo on small phrases or even single notes are all carefully observed. So, too, the many little caesuras in the score as well as the variety of different emphasis markings - dots, sforzandi, little decrescendo marks. It all helps to characterise every phrase, every theme. His affection for the Mahlerian portamento/glissando, shown in previous recordings, is also here in abundance (though almost always only when marked in the score) and even extends to the voice in the last verse of the final movement.

This is not enough to make a great Mahler conductor, of course. But Fischer shows himself to be just that throughout the work. He always seems to make it sound so natural. The subtleties of tempo variation are a sheer delight. For example, just before the dash for the line at the end of the first movement there are no less than 10 modifications of tempo in as many bars - rit., subito a tempo, accelerando, rit.. molto rit., langsam, another rit., sehr zuruckhaltend (holding back a little), a tempo and poco a poco stringendo. Fischer moulds it all into a moving and naturally flowing whole.

In his essay in the accompanying notes, Fischer talks about the chamber orchestra feel of the whole symphony and of `the lightness of the whole orchestra'. This certainly comes through in the playing. Which is not to say that he eschews the darkness and angst of the piece: this is perhaps a Child's Paradise Lost.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Colin Fortune VINE VOICE on 19 April 2009
Format: Audio CD
This is one of the most ravishing Mahler discs that I have heard for some time. The playing of the orchestra is stunning and the balances favour some wonderful wind and brass detail whilst delivering the full impact of the whole orchestra when required. Fischer is ia sensitive interpreter, rounding the phrases in the music most pleasingly with a bracing first two movements.

The third (adagio) movement is played so well on this recording that Fischer makes it sound like the greatest movement Mahler ever wrote! It encapsulates all the joy and pain of life as it moves towards the huge "Gates of Heaven" climax just before it drifts into the final movement. This is remarkably good playing and conducting.

And then... Well we have the song finale with Miah Persson as a charming and very clear soprano soloist. For me the trouble was that the third movement was so overwhelmingly good that this charming movement, almost like an intermezzo, was something of an anticlimax. To be fair you could claim that this is a problem with the unusual structure of the symphony as much as anything else and this could indeed be the case. But Fischer's conducting also sounds just a little matter of fact at this point with a fairly speedy overall tempo that is just a little unyielding in approach. This may be an over-critical reaction but if it is, it is because of the comparison with the wonderful intensity of the other movements, particularly the Adagio.

Despite this (slight) criticism I believe that this is a disc full of delightful insights from Fischer and his Budapest Festival Orchestra and that this disc will provide great satisfaction. Recommended.
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I was in Budapest for my sons graduation and after our celebration found a music shop open. Mahler's 4th is one of my favourites and I have a lot of recordings. George Szell's Cleveland recording was always my favourite. Until I played this one.

Recorded in Budapest in 2009, it reminds me of the softness and tenderness that the Fourth is supposed to bring out in the playing but is sometimes missed. I found myself affected by the recording, the way in which each individual note has its place and its prominence as the composer intended. You get the feeling Ivan Fisher conducted this recording with his eyes reading straight into each players eyes, completely at one with his musicians who seem to know exactly what he wanted them to achieve, concentrating only on the music and achieving perfect pitch and timing for each individual note with no distractions. The timing feels perfect too, never hurried but never feeling slow either. The oboe was one of Mahler's favourite instruments and it shows here.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Musica Vita on 30 Oct. 2009
Format: Audio CD
First of all, the technical quality of this recording is first-class. Every nuance of Mahler's delightful score can be heard, without undue emphasis to any of it. Just listen to the accompaniment to "Death's Fiddle" in the second movement, or the gurgling trio sections! The Fourth is basically a chamber symphony, with very few really loud climaxes: there are really only two, one in the middle of the first movement and the other near the end of the third. Ivan Fischer never tries to exaggerate any of the dynamics but just presents the music simply, as Mahler might have wished. That does not mean there is a lack of emotion, on the contrary, this is a very moving performance. Miah Persson seems well-cast as the child-like soprano in the last movement, which I too have always found a bit of an anticlimax after what has gone before. (But maybe Heaven is...) Fischer maintains the tension even in the slowest part at the beginning of the third movement, which is more "molto" than "poco" adagio here.

Klemperer's version is still my favourite, but this must come next.
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