- Symphony No. 4 in G major
For this 2012 Dreyer Gaido release, Gabriel Feltz and the Stuttgart Philharmonic present a warm and inviting performance of Gustav Mahler's "Symphony No. 4 in G major," his brightest and most engaging symphony. The last of Mahler's "Wunderhorn" symphonies, so called because of the use of his 1892 song, "Das himmlische Leben," the "Fourth" is the most joyous and childlike of his works, and its upbeat mood has made it extremely popular with audiences. Feltz's interpretation is mainstream and fairly conventional in his choice of tempos; though the first movement is taken at a really brisk clip in places and at times feels unnecessarily rushed, the Scherzo, the Adagio, and the Finale are more conventionally paced. The Stuttgart musicians are obviously comfortable in this piece, and the buoyancy of their playing is evident in their alert rhythms, crisp sonorities, and their responsiveness to Feltz's rubato and subtle shading of dynamics. Coloratura soprano Jeannette Wernecke is sprightly and cheerful in "Das himmlische Leben" and her upper register is full and radiant, despite some low notes that seem a little thin in tone. The live recording was made January 25, 2011, in the Liederhalle Beethovensaal, a large concert hall that offers optimal sound due to its acoustics, and this digital recording is remarkably present, vibrant, and clean, comparable in depth and detail to a hybrid SACD.