This new remastering by Andreas K. Meyer is nothing short of sensational. Some of the finest performances of Mahler & Bernstein, it's amazing how much detail Sony/CBs can get from this stunning SACD!
Superb… Szell shows the utmost sensitivity to every facet of the music… His interpretation is backed by flawless playing by the Cleveland Orchestra. – The Gramophone
The DVD is a killer invention suited to a killer musical program. It is helpful to our understanding the drama of opera, movies, and symphonic works performed by a symphony orchestra. It is easy to see how “catching on” to an opera (or a feature film) depends on the body language and facial expressions of the players. It’s more difficult to explain how a video representation of an orchestra at play helps us “get” a mostly auditory experience. Some people use orchestral music to fall asleep by, after all. Others like to watch the byplay of the musicians, how they hand off to one another. Some insist watching an orchestra play is as exciting as watching jazz musicians play off one another. How does this work?
A wonderful performance of Mahler's 4th Symphony conducted by Iván Fischer featuring Swedish soprano Miah Persson. "There is a unique purity and transparency in Mahler's 4th Symphony. The enchanting sleigh bells take us to his inner child, to his dreams of angels, fairy tales, angst and pure, divine love. This child-like symphony needed a different orchestra: no dark tuba, no heavy trombones, no large arsenal of massive brass. A chamber orchestra in fact, where the clarinets act as mock trumpets, the solo violin tunes his strings sharper in order to scare us and the lightness of the whole orchestra lifts us up to his lovely, childish vision of paradise."
A host of accomplished conductors including Daniel Harding, Daniele Gatti, Bernard Haitink and Eliahu Inbal lead the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in these performances of Mahler's Symphonies Nos. 1-10. Recorded in Amsterdam over two seasons in 2010/11, the collection also includes 'Das Lied von der Erde'.
Following a concert performance in October 1970 Jascha Horenstein went into the studio with the London Philharmonic to record Mahler’s Fourth Symphony as one of the first recordings for the then new Classics For Pleasure bargain label produced by John Boyden. The result was musically deeply satisfying though the sound on the original LP left much to be desired. This led to a poor one-star review being enshrined in the very next Penguin Guide and that must surely have contributed to killing the release on the shelves so it was never considered among the recommended versions for this work.
After a terrific First Symphony, Michael Tilson Thomas' ongoing Mahler cycle with his San Francisco players really hits its stride with this latest release, one of the truly great recordings ever lavished on the Fourth… This is by any standard an extraordinary achievement, and no one who loves Mahler or this symphony can afford to pass it by. –David Hurwitz
Mining the archive uncovers this treasurable performance.
"Glorious" and "sublime" were among the epithets applied to the playing of Dresden's "Royal Chapel" ensemble when Mahler's Fourth Symphony was first performed in the city in 1908. Both epithets could be applied to the playing on this latter-day realisation under Giuseppe Sinopoli. Richard Osborne, August 2008 GRAMOPHONE