Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Mahler, Johansson, Segerstam|
Symphony No 4
Listen to Samples
A moody Fourth that's modern and regressive at the same time
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 12/16/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Leif Segerstam is a composer-conductor in the modernist vein. I wondered, after hearing his intensity in Sibelius, if he could excite me equally in Mahler. He comes very close -- there is originality and personal style in every measure of this Fourth Sym. from 2001. Coming in, I expected little form the Danish Radio musicians, and they do struggle a bit, but that's a nice antidote to the overly sleek "international style" playing we hear ninety-nine times out of a hundred.
If you have ever heard Mahler's piano roll or Mengelberg's histroical recording of the Fourth, you know that extreme license was taken with rubato -- what is scornfully dismissed today as taffy-pulling. Segerstam recklessly resorts to rubato that the composer would recognize. It takes some adjsuting to -- there's a tempo change every few bars -- but instead of sounding mannered, it manages to sound deeply expressive. The mistuned devil's fiddle in the second movement is delightfully creaky.
Seerstam finds a flowing tempo for the sublime slow movemnt and evokes the peacefulness that Mahler wants without the line going slack. He judges the finale perfectly, but his soprano, Eva Johansson, is far from sounding childlike, and her voice tends to spread under pressure. That's not enough for me to substract the fifth star, however, since the overall reading is so engaging."