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Mahler - Symphony No 4 CD

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

Price: £15.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (2 Feb. 2004)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Dorian
  • ASIN: B0000CERI4
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 517,444 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist - Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

Product Description

Symphonie n° 4 (Arr. pour ens. de chambre par E. Stein) - Chant d'un compagnon errant (Arr. pour ens. de chambre par A. Schönberg) / Smithsonian Chamber Players - Santa Fe Pro Musica - Kenneth Slowik, direction

BBC Review

So how does Mahler 4 sound when you've fired about 80% of the orchestra?! The answer appears to be: not nearly as awful as you might expect. Here's the story so far.

At the end of the First World War, Arnold Schönberg established his Society for Private Musical Performances, to give his Viennese subscribers the chance to hear modern music performed as well as possible, with just one proviso: that the Society's resources had limits, and that only chamber orchestra performances could be supported, no matter how big the original work. So when Erwin Stein arranged Mahler's Fourth Symphony for the Society in 1921 he managed to reduce the forces to soprano and twelve players.

Ulp. I honestly thought I'd last about five minutes before I went to look for a decent recording of the real thing, but I stayed the course and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. For a start, think about how often Mahler himself resorts to chamber music textures in his symphonies. The sounds seem utterly natural most of the time. Wind textures aren't quite as thin as you'd expect, thanks to the wheezing of a harmonium, plus the piano helps thicken the textures, and the two percussionists also keep the colour and contrast intact.

True, at the climactic moments there's no getting away from the fact that a string quintet can't possibly compensate for the massed sections of the Berlin Philharmonic, but a delighted smile at Stein's ingenuity is far more likely than a groan of disappointment. Of course, none of this would matter if the playing wasn't up to scratch, but the Smithsonian Chamber Players with their matched Amati's make a splendid sound alongside the Santa Fe Pro Musica members. Soprano Christina Brandes doesn't sound at all put out not to have the full symphony orchestra surging away beneath her in the finale.

The four Wayfarer Songs that accompany the symphony are transcribed by Schönberg himself, with mezzo Susan Platts obviously enjoying the intimacy of the arrangements. Kenneth Slowik's direction is surefooted and idiomatic, and the recording is a treat: well natural and detailed, so you don't miss a note, and the essays in the booklet are fascinating.

But why would anyone buy this in preference to the Mahler originals? Well, you wouldn't, obviously, but there should be room for this alongside a fine performance of the full Fourth Symphony. I certainly learned things about the music I hadn't understood before, so perhaps stripping away the luxurious finish allows you to appreciate fully the beauty of what's underneath.

Andrew McGregor - presenter of CD Review on Radio 3 --Andrew McGregor

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Quite brilliant performances of the 4th symphony and very tender and beautifully sung Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen by Susan Platts. This performance makes me think that Mahler's symphonies may do better in small ensemble. Recording 24 bits is top notch.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8ac6cb4c) out of 5 stars 3 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8ac82ed0) out of 5 stars The ultimate Mahler 4th 28 Jan. 2005
By Linda McDougall - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
For all you Mahler addicts out there, I'm not going to compare this Fourth Symphony with all the wonderful others available...I simply want to say BUY IT NOW, quickly, before it disappears. The almost surreal combination of Mahler, Schoenberg and Mengelberg is a tour de force, and if you can get yourself off the floor after the slow movement - the gut-strung, 17th century Amati violins, viola and cello create an unearthly, soulful richness - you can further delight yourself with the gorgeous voices of Christine Brandes and Susan Platts. Mahler believed that Lieder was the spring or fountain that fed the river of the symphony, and here, it's apparent.

Because I had to own every Mahler recording ever made, I came across this by accident - and now hardly listen to any other Fourth. This CD is just too good to last on the market - which is probably why I'm the FIRST reviewer!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8ac84bc4) out of 5 stars Totally Seductive Version of Mahler 4 14 Oct. 2014
By Peter P. Fuchs - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is a totally seductive CD. I know that the arrangement of the Mahler 4 was made for Schoenberg's famous concert series, sort of with his direction of his student the arranger, but it really sounds like a Salon Orchestra. Yet, how great this Salon Orchestra sounds, and how well the arrangement fits the music, except for maybe the musical apotheosis leading up to the last movement. But given that everything else sounds so seductive and lovely, you almost forget that some profundity is lost, and something is gained as well as insight into the more popular roots of some of the themes.....maybe. Whatever the case, it can't be resisted. Even that Harmonium sounds wonderful.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8ac84e04) out of 5 stars Delightful version 19 Dec. 2012
By Thomas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Wonderful alternative to full symphony--excellent sound. You will really hear the heartbeat of the piece, though miss the big sound of heaven opening in third movement--more subtle
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