Notes and Editorial Reviews
This is a very fine live performance of Mahler's Fourth. Gerard Schwarz has many ideas about the music, and they work very well. Consider, for example, his adroit tempo adjustments in the first movement's third subject group, bringing out all of the music's playful character. In the scherzo he slows down dramatically for the trio sections, but justifies his choice by encouraging the woodwinds to project extra vividly, and they certainly rise to the occasion. The Adagio is aptly serene in the calm portions, anguished yet appropriately flowing in the minor-key variations. The "heaven opening" climax toward the end sounds grand, but not shrill.
Schwarz has found an excellent soloist in soprano Maureen Mackay, indeed
one of the better singers to take the part. She has the right lightness of tone, the right innocence, and no feeling of strain in her upper register. The audience is very quiet, but for some reason the recording level is substantially higher in the scherzo than elsewhere, which is distracting. Still there's a lot to enjoy here, and if you know the symphony well you will surely relish many of the details that distinguish this performance and give it real personality.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
Symphony no 4 in G major by Gustav Mahler
Maureen Mackay ()
Written: 1892-1900; Vienna, Austria
Venue: Live Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, UK
Length: 58 Minutes 6 Secs.
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