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Mahler: Symphony No 4; 3 Lieder from Des Knaben Wunderhorn

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Daniel Harding Conducts Mahler - A Welcome Union 5 Aug. 2005
By Grady Harp - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Daniel Harding is one of the young conductors (he is in his mid-twenties) making solid performances guest conducting with some of the major orchestras (Harding's recent performance of the Mahler 10th with the Los Angeles Philharmonic was most impressive!). Here he conducts the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in a fresh, buoyant, appropriately youthful and joyous reading of Mahler's Fourth Symphony.

Harding's approach to Mahler is one of clarity of detail, simplicity of line, and a very fine sensitivity to phrasing: few conductors his age can match his perfectly timed rallentandos. The movements literally sing in this most gravity defying of Mahler's symphonies. And his choice of Dorothea Röschmann for the soprano who intones the solo lines of the fourth movement is exactly right.

As an added bonus Harding offers three more excerpts from Mahler's 'Des Knaben Wunderhorn' - Das Irdische Leben, Lob Des Hohen Verstandes, and Wo Die Schonen Trompeten Blasen - in which he demonstrates an excellent collaboration with Dorothea Röschmann whose warmly accurate voice and innate identification with these songs is apparent. The recorded sound is excellent.

Daniel Harding is a young conductor to watch. He seems to have musical intelligence that matches his podium charisma, and he knows how to communicate his thoughts to orchestras. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, August 05
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A potentially great conductor gives us a delicate, engaging Mahler Fourth 22 May 2006
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on
Format: Audio CD
The eminent musicians who have taken up the cause of rising conductor Daniel Harding include Rattle, Abbado, Henze and Boulez. They began to notice him while he was still in high school. The blonde English wunderkind conducted the Berlin Phil. on short notice when he was 21 and also became the youngest conductor to lead a Proms concert in Lodnon. Clearly everyone expects great things from him, and now that he is all of 30 (thirteen years after becoming Simon Rattle's assistant in Birmingham) Harding's repertoire extends from period-inspired Beethoven and Mozart to Britten, Szymanowski, and Turnage. Quite the enfant moderne of the podium.

Here, Harding impresses with a terrific, warmly musical account of the Mahler Fourth with reduced forces. You can't expect to make this music sound like full-fledged Mahler without his full orchestration. Harding doesn't try to--he replaces emotional depth with scampering counterpoint, a singing line, and buoyant optimism--Mahler in the world of Mendelssohn. It works beautifully on its own terms. The Adagio is very slow (23 min. compared to Klemperer's 18 min.), and even though Dorothea Roschmann sounds a bit clumsy and heavy in the finale, the whole project is quite a success. And an augury of Harding's future, no doubt.
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