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Following recordings of Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle and Prokofiev’s Romeo & Juliet, LSO Live returns to Valery Gergiev’s acclaimed Mahler cycle with the release of the Fourth Symphony. Using a reduced orchestra, unusually without any lower brass, Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 was influenced by the trend to revive the classical style of Haydn and Mozart, as a reaction against the monumental ‘Wagnerian’ Romanticism of its predecessors. The work is based around the final movement, written some years earlier – its childish and naïve text giving shape to the other movements.
“Those who think of Mahler’s Fourth as the gentlest of his symphonies would have found their ideas challenged by Valery Gergiev’s probing interpretation of it. Far from being a sunny, carefree idyll, this was something more prone to anxiety and tension than to tranquil nostalgia. It was perhaps this tussle between serenity and apprehension that made the performance so fascinating and the music so disquieting ... the overall impression was of a Mahler Fourth that was freshly conceived and deeply compelling” Daily Telegraph
“In the slow movement, Gergiev achieved something transcendent and genuinely mysterious by propelling the music forward without losing sight of its inherent numinosity. The performance was worth it just for that” The Guardian
Symphony No 4: i: Bedaechtig. Nicht eilen
Symphony No 4: ii: In gemaechlicher Bewegung. Ohne Hast
Symphony No 4: iii: Ruhevoll (Poco adagio - Allegretto subito - Allegro subito)
Symphony No 4: iv: Sehr behaglich ("Wir geniessen die himmlischen Freuden", Sopran-Solo nach Worten aus "Des Knaben Wunderhorn")
7th April 2010
“No one doubts Gergiev’s supremacy in Russian music, but eyebrows have been raised at his Mahler series. In fact, Gergiev’s febrile intensity lends itself well to the neurotic quality of Mahler’s music...the orchestra is superb.”
“pacing is almost always emotionally precise, and sonorities rounded and well-judged”
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