Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Mahler, Mackay, Rlp|
Symphony No 4
Listen to Samples
A perfectly recommendable Mahler 4
B. Guerrero | 07/03/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I found a used copy of this, so I gave it a try. Lo and behold, it's a perfectly respectable recording of Mahler 4 - one in which all four movements are done quite well. A big litmus test for me is the climax to the slow movement, both in terms of balances and tempo. It used to be that many conductors stretched this climax out, making the timpani sound excessively thunderous, while the trumpets would often times sound screechy on top. On the other hand, neither do I want the conductor to simply rush through the climax, like Klemperer did on his EMI studio recording decades ago. These days, more and more conductors are gauging this climactic passage right on the money. Schwarz is one of them. All of those rapid, ascending swirls in the high strings and harps are perfectly audible. On the loud end, the timpani don't over-pound, and the trumpets don't screech. Very nicely done!
Backing up, the first movement has the requisite amount of rubato and playfulness through Mahler's myriad gear changes in tempi, but without the odd and largely unsuccessful series of tempo relationships that plague Gergiev's recent addition. In other words, Schwarz gets it right again. His development section displays a big increase in tempo and thus, notches up the tension - just as it should. In the scherzo, the solo violin is a tad more forward than I generally like, but the nervous and "Skittzy" feeling that is so essential to this movement is there in spades. My only grumbling about the scherzo under Schwarz's direction is quite minor: in the various Trio sections, he often times slows way down for the numerous woodwind trills. Danielle Gatti (Conifer) did the same thing, so it's not really a new idea. But again, this is a very minor complaint as many listeners may actually enjoy the effect, and it doesn't really hinder the overall flow of the scherzo in general.
The last movement is rather "spritely" in feel, which is probably quite correct (both Mahler and Bruno Walter took this movement quickly!). Maureen Mackay is appropriately light voiced and "fresh" sounding, but she also sounds just a tad uncomfortable when Schwarz picks up the tempo a bit, here and there. However, in the final stanzas, Mackay's descending glissando off of, "dazu lacht" is beautifully done. Predictably, Schwarz goes like the wind in those sudden orchestral outbursts that happen between stanzas. Nice sleigh bells too. All in all, this is a perfectly recommendable Mahler 4th.
Take note, there's also a completely different performance of Mahler 4 available with G. Schwarz/Royal Liverpool Phil., but with a different soprano. Go figure!"