The best parts of this recording are inspired
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 03/22/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There are many varieties of great conducting, but my favorie is the origianl kind, full of new ideas and touches you've never heard before. That's certainly true of Tennstedt's Mahler Fourth, whose first movement shines with inspiration in every bar. Instead of seeing this as a gentle pastorale with shadowy undertones, Tennstedt plays for flat-out dramaa, as if this music belongs in the tumultuous world of the Fifth Sym. He overturns our conception of the piece in a rivteting charge forward, and the momentum spolls over successfully into the second movement.
Then it all deflates a bit. The Adagio proceeds rather facelessly, at a moderate tempo with good playing. The finale further deflates by being a nice, middle-of-the-road affair. Lucia Popp ignores the words she is singing but provides sparkling vocalism, as she always did. In the end I was left perplexed by how so much originality could lose steam--I suppose that's the price one pays for a talent like Tennstedt's which depends so much on spontaneity and temperament. What he doesn't feel, he doesn't conduct especially well. Having said that, this is a fascinating performance for its first half alone, one for the ages."