Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Gustav Mahler, Klaus Tennstedt, Freiburg Symphony Orchestra|
Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 4; Three Songs from "Youth's Magic Horn"
Genres: Pop, Classical
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Not a First Pick
J Scott Morrison | Middlebury VT, USA | 10/26/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There are, of course, literally dozens of recordings of Mahler's Fourth Symphony, including a couple by Tennstedt with other orchestras. His box set of all the symphonies on EMI with the London Philharmonic is currently being offered at mid- or even budget-price from Amazon or other vendors. And it features Lucia Popp in the fourth movement. It is also still available separately.
This traversal is with the SWR Orchestra Baden-Baden/Freiburg, a very fine orchestra whose founders' primary purpose was for it to play and record modern music. Their long-time conductor Michael Gielen made some exceptional recordings with them, including recently released DVDs of all the Beethoven Symphonies that are quite nicely done. So, one could expect that the orchestra would be in good form and indeed they are. These recordings of the Fourth and three songs from 'Des Knaben Wunderhorn' were made in 1976, some years before Tennstedt's LPO recording. It is similar in most respects, and indeed I quite like his approach to the Adagio movement (III), treating it as one of Mahler's great slow movements. But the fourth movement, that naïve maiden's song about what it is like in Heaven, is almost leaden, I'm sorry to say. It is not helped by the singing of Eva Csapó, whose voice is sometimes unsteady and is generally too heavy for the piece. She is somewhat better in the Wunderhorn songs, but is eclipsed by other better singers in readily available recordings.
I cannot strongly recommend this recording although the playing of the Symphony's first three movements is unexceptionable and quite the equal of that with the LPO. The sound is good, too, although slightly distant.