Mahler: Symphony No. 4

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Andrew Farach-Colton
Perhaps the most striking feature of this Mahler Fourth is its lack of pretension. In fact, Benjamin Zander's interpretation is so fresh and unaffected that it wouldn't be at all far-fetched if Telarc had slapped a "100% Natural" sticker on the cover. The music's many characters are finely drawn, and the big dramatic moments are given their due, as one would expect from a Mahlerian of Zander's caliber, yet nothing is overdone. And that approach is very welcome in this, the sweetest and sunniest of all Mahler's symphonies. The first movement, with its thematic abundance, is held together marvelously well. Zander's deft handling of the tempo changes gives one the ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Andrew Farach-Colton
Perhaps the most striking feature of this Mahler Fourth is its lack of pretension. In fact, Benjamin Zander's interpretation is so fresh and unaffected that it wouldn't be at all far-fetched if Telarc had slapped a "100% Natural" sticker on the cover. The music's many characters are finely drawn, and the big dramatic moments are given their due, as one would expect from a Mahlerian of Zander's caliber, yet nothing is overdone. And that approach is very welcome in this, the sweetest and sunniest of all Mahler's symphonies. The first movement, with its thematic abundance, is held together marvelously well. Zander's deft handling of the tempo changes gives one the feeling that each new melody is a new discovery, and that all the melodies are somehow related. Philharmonia Orchestra principal violinist Christopher Warren-Green deserves mention for evoking a convincingly rustic-sounding fiddle in the scherzo. But the symphony's heart is its expansive Adagio, played here in a beautifully flowing manner -- the radiant final climax sounding truly like the opening the celestial gates, as Mahler intended. In the songlike finale, soprano Camilla Trilling is suitably boyish, projecting an innocent, wide-eyed amazement at the heavenly life she describes. As in Zander's previous recordings of Mahler's Fifth and Ninth, this one includes a free bonus disc, in which the conductor discusses the music and its interpretation with infectious enthusiasm. Even if you have other recordings of this symphony, Zander's insightful commentary alone is worth the outlay. As it happens, you get a first-class performance of the symphony as part of the bargain.
All Music Guide - James Leonard
There are folks out there who loathe Benjamin Zander's conducting. Some find him an amateur with limited technique. Some find him an eccentric with odd interpretations. Some find him purposefully willful with weird colors, strange balances, and a peculiar sense of tempo. That's fine. There's plenty of room in the world for differences in opinion. And maybe sometimes they're even right. Maybe Zander's "Le Sacra du printemps" is weirdly colored and strangely balanced. Maybe Zander's effort on Beethoven's "Fifth" is too fast and too harsh. Maybe Zander's conducting of Mahler's "Sixth," with all its tremendous demands, is too much and his interpretation too light for the abysmal depths of the work. But surely no one could object to Zander's 2000 recording of Mahler's "Fourth" with the Philharmonia Orchestra. Surely everyone can embrace this wonderfully detailed but marvelously graceful performance, which fulfills every direction in Mahler's score with attention and affection. Surely everyone can extol Zander's command of form in the opening movement and his control of the tempo in the slow movement. Surely everyone can exalt at the climax of Zander's slow movement when the gates of paradise open and, except for the slightly shrill tone of soprano Camilla Tilling, surely everyone can ascend into the heaven of his serene finale. And if they can't, it's their loss. Telarc's sound is magnificently round, reverberant, and just about real.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/28/2001
  • Label: Telarc
  • UPC: 089408055522
  • Catalog Number: 80555
  • Sales rank: 125,822

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–4 Symphony No. 4 in G major - Gustav Mahler & Anilda Carrasquillo (58:25)
Disc 2
  1. 1–4 Benjamin Zander Discusses Mahler Symphony No. 4 - Anilda Carrasquillo & Spoken Word (78:58)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Benjamin Zander Primary Artist
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