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Mahler: Symphony No. 4 - Nott

Mahler: Symphony No. 4 - Nott

Tudor  SACD 7151

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical - Orchestral


Mahler: Symphony No. 4 in G major

Mojca Erdmann (soprano)
Bamberger Symphoniker
Jonathan Nott (conductor)

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Review by John Broggio - January 22, 2009

Arguably the finest Mahler disc on SACD.

With a corporate identity as well managed as that of the Berlin, Vienna Philharmonics or the Concertgebouw but with a fresher, leaner yet rounded tone, the Bamberger Symphoniker play out of their skins on this disc. Nott judges all the tempi and tonal balances supremely well and is helped by choosing to set out the violins antiphonally. At times, one might wish for a slightly more extrovert approach from some woodwind and brass soloists but it is in keeping with the intentions of Nott and, more importantly, Mahler for all details are placed well within each phrase, movement and the work as a whole.

From those recordings I possess on SACD, Nott is the only conductor to take real account of Mahler's suddenly quicker markings in the third movement, which incidentally is played with a transcendental radiance. The other purely orchestral movements are also graced with an innocent joy that is all too rare (the premonitions of the fifth symphony are not underplayed); in particular the contrast between the drunken fiddle and the gorgeous trio sections of the second movement is a delight. Mojca Erdmann makes an ideal soprano soloist, fresh of voice and tone who truly transports one towards the heavens.

The recording is slightly recessed and cut at a lower level than is the norm, although if one raises the volume level, there is absolutely nothing inaudible whatsoever. This is a remarkably natural hall balance, albeit a little further back than many companies prefer to present these days.

Highly and enthusiastically recommended - can't wait for the next instalment!

Copyright © 2009 John Broggio and HRAudio.net

Performance:

Sonics (Multichannel):

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