Mahler: Symphony No. 4

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Mahler
LABELS: Sony
WORKS: Symphony No. 4
PERFORMER: Barbara HendricksLos Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra/Esa-Pekka Salonen
CATALOGUE NO: SK 48380 DDD
From the start Salonen displays an affinity for the lighter textures of this symphony, compared with the Second and the Third. His reading of the broad second theme in the first movement lacks passion and monumentality. And in the third movement, the pathos and richness that Maazel, for example, wrings from the Vienna Philharmonic’s strings is denied in a serenely constrained, yet compelling line.

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Barbara Hendricks, as interpreter of the poem in the Finale, attempts a boyish lightness but doesn’t reflect the child’s quicksilver change of emotions. While Salonen’s committed approach may be admirable, it may not inspire a great following. Deborah Calland