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Mahler: Symphony No.4 / Berg: Seven Early Songs

Barbara Bonney Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: £25.10 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Mahler: Symphony No.4 / Berg: Seven Early Songs + Mahler: Symphony No. 5
Price For Both: £38.35

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  • Mahler: Symphony No. 5 £13.25

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Product details

  • Audio CD (14 Feb 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Classics
  • ASIN: B00003ZAL2
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 121,305 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 TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Mahler: Symphony No.4 in G - 1. Bedächtig. Nicht eilenRoyal Concertgebouw Orchestra18:09£2.29  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Mahler: Symphony No.4 in G - 2. In gemächlicher Bewegung. Ohne HastRoyal Concertgebouw Orchestra 9:35£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Mahler: Symphony No.4 in G - 3. RuhevollRoyal Concertgebouw Orchestra20:50£2.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Mahler: Symphony No.4 in G - 4. Sehr behaglichRoyal Concertgebouw Orchestra 9:42£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Berg: Sieben frühe Lieder - 1. NachtRoyal Concertgebouw Orchestra 3:56£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Berg: Sieben frühe Lieder - 2. SchilfliedRoyal Concertgebouw Orchestra 1:59£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Berg: Sieben frühe Lieder - 3. Die NachtigallRoyal Concertgebouw Orchestra 2:12£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Berg: Sieben frühe Lieder - 4. TraumgekröntRoyal Concertgebouw Orchestra 2:26£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Berg: Sieben frühe Lieder - 5. Im ZimmerRoyal Concertgebouw Orchestra 1:17£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Berg: Sieben frühe Lieder - 6. LiebesodeRoyal Concertgebouw Orchestra 1:47£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Berg: Sieben frühe Lieder - 7. SommertageRoyal Concertgebouw Orchestra 1:59£0.79  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Chailly's Mahler cycle continues its leisurely way with this relaxed account of the composer's most genial symphony. No. 4 has a naïveté which can become cloying, but Chailly keeps the first movement going at a steady pace, making the most of Mahler's imaginative orchestral sense here and in the delicate bizzarie of the scherzo. The slow movement is a long sequence of variations on its opening theme, here sounding resplendent and luxuriantly Italianate on the cellos in its original guise. The finale, Mahler's whimsical but never coy "child's view of heaven", is deftly handled, although Barbara Bonney does sound a little po-faced in music that needs to be taken absolutely at face value. She is more at home in the typically Viennese languor of Berg's Seven Early Songs, yearning outpourings from a gifted teenager whose mature music has become ever more influential. Sample the Debussyian mystery of "Night", the swooning grace of "The Nightingale", or the passionate ode to the cosmos of "Summer Days"--timeless emotions, truthfully realised by the teenage composer and enticingly presented here. --Richard Whitehouse

Product Description


Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful sonics and Soprano = Great Recording 17 Dec 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Whilst Chailly sometimes gets a bit of a rough ride from the critics, I have to say that this recording of Mahler's fourth symphony is absolutley top-notch. The Decca recording engineers manged to caputure the orchestra pretty much perfectly back in 1999; wide dynamic range, deep bass, and excellent clarity.

With Barbara Bonney as the soprano, sounding just wide-eyed enough, most should be perfectly satisfied with this CD. So, a good modern recording for your collection and best bought as a single CD rather than in the box set as you also get to hear Berg's "Seven Early Songs" in super performances; these "extras" are not in the box set.

However, with this often-recorded symphony, there is no "right" choice; no "absolute" best-buy! Those fond of older recordings should try Horenstein Mahler: Symphony No. 4 in G (the sound is better than it was, but still not great) or Szell Mahler: Symphony No. 4, Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (in perfectly adequate sound).

Two excellent, much more recent, recordings come from Boulez Mahler Symphony 4 or Gielen Michael Gielen Conducts, both of which you should hear as complimentary to this Decca CD.

Highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! 21 Feb 2011
By Sigrid
Format:Audio CD
A fine performance of the 4th Symphony with outstanding sound. Fabulous finale!

Berg's Seven Early Songs were a delightful extra - a new work to me.

It's largely a question of personal taste, but I far preferred this recording to the Boulez' one referred to by another reviewer - left me absolutely cold. Perhaps it's a case of 'traditional' working best?
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent performance in stunning sound 20 Mar 2000
By Alexander Leach VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
If not quite as fine an interpretation as Maazel's on Sony, this is still an outstanding reading. The playing of the Concertgebouw is flawless, and if Bonney is no Katherine Battle in the Finale, hers is still a beautifully sung rendition.
If you liked Chailly's Fifth, you will enjoy this CD.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Be surprised by the Berg 3 Mar 2013
Format:Audio CD
I bought this primarily for the recording of the Mahler, but I've found myself drawn to the Berg orchestral lieder more regularly. These are tautly controlled, transitional works which prefigure later expressionism, and an ideal way for anyone wanting to expand their listening into the 'difficult' Second Viennese School. Each song captures a fleeting moment with lovely orchestral colour and weaving, winding vocal melodies. This is an insightful pairing with the Mahler and clearly reveals the link between late Romanticism and early Modernism.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An experience not to forget 21 Feb 2000
By - Published on
Format:Audio CD
I was fortunate enough to attend a performance at Het Concertgebouw with the exact cast of this recording and it was an evening that will stick in my mind for a very, very long time. Chailly's reading of the symphony is nothing if not original, with great detail in the "lifting out" of individual parts (some particularly lovely touches in the second movement). Tempi are, to say the least, unusual, with great rubati. Barbara Bonney is ideal as the soloist - youthful and clear with sumptuous attention to detail. The Berg Songs, however, are the best reason to buy this recording. They are exquisite music and here given a performance which, live, stunned me into a state of total awe. Bonney is nothing short of superb and the playing is of the highest possible standard. Throughout this recording the orchestra plays as what it is: one of the best in the world, and the recording is well captured from Het Concertgebouw, the marvelous acoustics of the Great Hall being evident. I cannot recommend this highly enough, even if you already have numerous Mahler Fourths. This rendition will likely become a favourite, but buy the disc simply for the Berg.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful CD 7 Nov 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format:Audio CD
The Concertgebouw sound is stunningly captured and the orchestra is stylish and full of color. Barbara Bonney is sensational in the last movement and is for me the highlight of this disk. The innocence is perfectly caught. I dare say that there has been too many dull American recordings of Mahler 4 - this is truly magical. The Berg coupling is more romantic than atonal and could hardly be played more persuasively. Guaranteed to give pleasure.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure magic 31 Aug 2011
By George Goldberg - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Chailly and the sumptuous Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra are ideal for Mahler and the first three movements of this recording of his Fourth Symphony are as good as I expected. (Yes, he indulges in lots of rubatos, as one reviewer has noted, but so do all conductors of this symphony, some of the Germans even more so.) Then we come to the fourth and last movement.

In most symphonies, the last movement is the fastest and loudest. In Mahler's Fourth, it is slow and calm: Sehr behaglich (very comfortable) is the tempo marking. Above that, at the top of the score, Mahler wrote: Anmerkung für den Dirigenten: Es ist von höchster Wichtigkeit, dass die Sängerin äuserst discret begleitet wird (Note for the conductor: It is of the greatest importance that the singer be extremely discreetly accompanied). And a couple of pages later, where the soprano comes in, Mahler added the admonition: Singstimme mit kindlich heiteren Ausdruck; durchaus ohne Parodie! (To be sung with childlike and serene expression, absolutely without parody!). Barbara Bonney and Riccardo Chailly follow Mahler's instructions to the letter and produce pure magic - and the Concertgebouw never sounded better. Kudos to the Decca engineers too, for maintaining exactly the right balance (it is all too easy for a soprano singing softly to be drowned out by a full symphony orchestra, no matter how discreetly playing). This is quite simply as good as it (life) gets.

To fill out the CD, Bonney sings seven early songs by Alban Berg, again accompanied by Chailly and the Concertgebouw. Berg's music is today better known than that of his teacher, Arnold Schoenberg, much better known than that of his fellow pupil Anton von Webern. That is mostly for Berg's violin concerto, his Lyric Suite, and his two operas, Wozzeck and Lulu. But in his early years, he composed mostly songs. The surprise with the songs on this CD is that, while Berg composed them under the rather strict regimen Schoenberg imposed on his students, they are actually quite tonal and tuneful. As in the Mahler, Chailly and Bonney partner superbly on the Berg songs. This is a wonderful CD. Very very highly recommended.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Mahler 29 May 2013
By Mr. T. Hill - Published on
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Good recording, love Mahler and highly recommend this recording plus the Berg is good also. Well worth buying if you like Mahler.
5.0 out of 5 stars Mahler only surpassed by Berg 15 April 2014
By Jeff A. Bloom, MD - Published on
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
There are lots of great recordings of the Mahler Fourth - and this should be included in any list. But there are only a few of the Berg Seven Early Songs (orchestrated) and this is a revelation. These songs are often groups with Strauss' Four last songs and Wagner's Weisendonk's Songs ... and are not the harsh atonal music that Berg eventually wrote. Enjoy the Mahler - but buy this for the Berg!
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