Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Mahler, Lott, Welser-Most|
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Classical
Listen to Samples
A warm-hearted performance that ranks at the very top
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 12/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"All music lovers cherish certain stepchild recordings that they want the whole world to love--for me this is one. I became convinced after hearing him conduct the Mahler Seventh in Boston and later a Mahler Ninth in Clevealnd, that Welser-Most was as inspired as any great Mahlerian of the past. This recording confimrs that belief. It was made in 1988 during the young Welser-Most's tenure with the London Phil. and is in every way an evocation of Mahler's complex, humane world on its sunniest day.
For whatever reason, W-M's astonishing talents didn't win critical favor in London (neither did Sinopoli's), and even now when he heads one of the world's great orchestras in Cleveland (and arguably the only American ensemble to rival Berlin and Vienna) Welser-Most is undervalued, especially when one considers the lackluster performances of Mahler from Tilson Thomas, Ozawa, Masur, Maazel, Mehta, and other prominent condcutors with a quarter of his insight and originality.
Welser-Most's gift is that ineffable thing, touch. His phrasing is songful throughout but alert to changes in Mahler's ever-shifting mood. The slow movement is daringly slow (24 min. compared to an average of 20 min. on most recordings), but every bar is sustained by inner life. The soprano in the finale, Felicity Lott, understands what she's singing and does her best to sound, if not childlike, at least light. She is more reliable than inspired, but when W-M slows down for the last repeat of the melody and the movment tapers off into the clouds, his touch achieves a magical melancholy sweetness such as I've never heard.
The London Phil. plays very well, considerably on the lush side (are English musicians allowed to wear their hearts on their sleeves like this?), and the sonics are quite good, despite the highlighting of woodwinds, which makes the first flute sound like he's wearing a fat suit. I've decided to gush over W-M even though I know that's the fastest way to get readers to discount my opinion. But this warm-hearted, expansive Mahler Fourth made me fall in love with the piece again."