Mahler: Symphony 4
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Top Customer Reviews
From the very opening of this easiest to appreiciate Mahler symphony until the very end, the performance brings out the best in the dreamy score.
Now this great Mahler 4 has been spruced up by sympathetic remastering and re-released at a laughable price there is no need to hesitate!
Well, I thought it sounded great then, and it's even better now! Possibly the best performance available.
I must confess to a certain prejudice towards Horenstein's Mahler. In the early days of the Mahler Renaissance, when performances and recordings of Mahler were in seriously short supply, I was introduced to most of the symphonies by Horenstein and Barbirolli (with a little help from Norman del Mar - No.3 - and Bernstein - Nos. 7 & 8). At the time Horenstein seemed the most echt Mahlerian of them all, most alive to the Bohemian/Austrian traditions in the music, most susceptible to its eccentricities and quirkiness, most ready to indulge the abrupt juxtapositions of the banal with the sublime without losing sight of the classical Austro-German symphonic history from which it grew.
Take the Scherzo in this Fourth Symphony as a case in point. It is not so much the weird effects of the scordatura tuning of Death's fiddle that really sticks in the memory: it is the wonderfully authentic sound of the Carinthian town band (alive and well to this day) that keeps interrupting on the clarinet. And this is backed up by some gorgeously brash horn solos that break out of the orchestral texture all over the place.
The great Adagio, on the other hand, is a finely sustained piece of symphonic argument. The main tempo has just the right flow to keep the movement moving. The string textures are always ideally balanced to allow melodic line and supporting harmony their proper voices. The many harmonic suspensions that act as waymarkers through this long movement - whether in the high sustained violin lines or in the heavy pizzicato tread of the basses - all screw up the tension to a remarkably high degree.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Mahler 4 has always been lucky on disk but this recording outstrips all others. It is quite simply an interpretation everyone should hear (and own).Published 10 months ago by david mcdade
I`m a Horenstein fan , but I prefer Rafael Kubelik`s fantastic recording with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra . Read morePublished 12 months ago by Alan Clifton