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Mahler: Symphony No. 4 / Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Essential Classics)

Gustav Mahler , George Szell , Andrew Davis , Cleveland Orchestra , London Philharmonic Orchestra , Judith Raskin , Frederica Von Stade Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Performer: Judith Raskin, Frederica Von Stade
  • Orchestra: Cleveland Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: George Szell, Andrew Davis
  • Composer: Gustav Mahler
  • Audio CD (August 19, 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B0000027AJ
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,440 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Symphony No. 4 In G Major: 1. Bedächtig. Nicht eilen.
2. Symphony No. 4 In G Major: 2. In gemächlicher Bewungen. Ohne Hast.
3. Symphony No. 4 In G Major: 3. Ruhevoll.
4. Symphony No. 4 In G Major: 4. Sehr behaglich.
5. Songs Of A Wayfarer (Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen): Wenn mein Schatz Hochzeit macht
6. Songs Of A Wayfarer (Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen): Ging heut morgen übers Feld
7. Songs Of A Wayfarer (Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen): Ich hab ein glühend Messer
8. Songs Of A Wayfarer (Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen): Die zwei blauen Augen von meinem Schatz

Editorial Reviews

This disc combines two remastered classic Mahler recordings--Szell's Cleveland account of the fourth symphony from 1965, and Davis's reading of the Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen from 1978--and the pairing is inspired. The Cleveland Orchestra has always had a reputation for phenomenal accuracy and brilliance, and Szell harnesses these qualities to give an almost supernaturally clear account of Mahler's score. Details of lower-string phrasing, thrown-away woodwind chirrups, and muted trumpets supporting a melody are given just the right amount of emphasis to make the surface texture sparkle with life. But, more important, Szell also captures the overall mood of ironic playfulness, while heeding Mahler's own direction with regard to the childlike last movement--"without parody." There is a minor jolt between the symphony and the Lieder--not just in the recording levels, but in suddenly entering Davis's much more impressionistic approach to Mahler. But once adjustment has been made, the rewards are great. He focuses everything on Stade's glorious voice and less on the details of orchestration, which makes for a sympathetic, flexible accompaniment and a moving performance of great pathos. --Warwick Thompson

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Perfect Recording August 5, 2000
Format:Audio CD
How many times have you listened to a recording and left saying "that was perfect". For me, this might be the only record where I was given the feeling that no one will ever be able to match this recording of this piece of music. My introduction to Mahler's 4th was a newer Telarc CD with Yoel Levi and the Atlanta Symphony. The soloist in this Telarc release interestingly is Frederica von Strade who is also the Mezzo-Soprano soloist on the Songs of a Wayfarer recording used as a filler on this CD. The Telarc recording has excellent sound, using the latest technology and benefits from a very good production. The sound is better then any you will find on say.. Deutche Grammophone. It was very surprising to me that this 1965 recording actually has better sound. There is a myth that somehow if a recording says DDD on it, it will sound better then a recording that says ADD on it. The reality is that some digital recordings sound better then analogue and some analogue recordings sound better then newer digital recordings. It all seems to be in the production, and here the production is perfect.
It is very hard for me to describe different elements of Szell's interpretation here, because it seems like there is none. What the listener ends up hearing IS Mahler's 4th Symphony. The legendary Cleveland Orchestra seems to blend together perfectly in a mix of precision and beauty. Judith Raskin again is the perfect voice for the finale conveying a very simple, yet overwhelming beauty bringing to a close the greatest recording of this piece, and maybe the closest to absolute perfection I've ever heard on disc. This is a no brainer.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have for all time. November 24, 2000
Format:Audio CD
Here are the flaws:
1. Szell slows down too much at "Fliessend, aber ohne Hast" in I (the beginning of the brief A major passage, where the four flutes enter in unison, Rehearsal 10 in Dover).
2. The solo violinist is slightly out of tune several bars before Rehearsal 4 in III.
That's it. And these two "flaws" can be easily ignored. Simply put, this recording is a knock-out. You can't ask for better playing, the soloist is great, and the sound is clear yet full of warmth. Moreover, Szell's conducting is tough to beat. Indeed, I have yet to hear better interpretation live or on disc. I is a delight - Szell and the Clevelanders were tops when it came to Mozart and Haydn, and they put their expertise in the two Viennese classicists to good use here. II and IV brim with life and personality. III is astonishingly rich, serene, and relaxed (except for the passages which demand tension, to which the performers bring just the right amount). Anybody who thinks Szell was a cold conductor and that his Cleveland Orchestra was incapable of matching the great European orchestras in warmth should hear this.
Next to this performance, other great recordings are wanting. My second favorite, Previn, has some awkward moments and Elly Ameling is not at her best. Haitink is a little stiff compared to Szell, Horenstein rather stilted, Klemperer misconeives III and has a miscast soprano, Kletzki is a little dry, and Reiner's III cannot compete with Szell's.
The Songs of a Wayfarer are decently done, but I do prefer a baritone (especially Hermann Prey).
At this price, why would you even think of not buying this recording? GET IT! Even if you already own ten other Mahler Fourths.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Duh! Hello? WAKE UP! February 3, 2000
Format:Audio CD
Even if you are only slighly intersted in Mahler or you areready to enter his universe from more earthly liftoffs such asSymphony No. 4 here or No. 1 ("Titan") or you call yourself the Total Mahlerian and can name every one of Alma's lovers, then you really owe yourself the pleasure of listening to one of the finest No. 4's ever recorded, and probably the BEST EVER AND OF ALL-TIME had it been recorded digitally. Szell and the Clevelanders run with this from the opening bar, and if you want to go along for the ride, they'll be very happy to take you there. No Bruno Walter schmaltz, no Otto Klemperer detachment, no Leonard Bernstein acrobatics (and I love all three of those guys BTW), just pure Mahler. Get the Clevelanders' recording of Symphony No. 6 "Tragic", too. It has some cuts, nothing too major. The tapes, also nice with a minimum of tape hiss. These will be mentioned in articles about recorded Mahler symphonies long after everyone living at the moment you are reading this is gone. Why should you be deprived of this any longer? END
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply a beautiful Number 4 May 25, 2004
Format:Audio CD
Once again we have Szell and Cleveland at the height of their powers digging into what for them would be a rare performance of the Mahler repetoire. The opening movement as a fine sense of "gemutlekeit" and a balance of textures which is definitely PERFECT. Rarely has any orchestra been so ably caught sonically and we are in for a real treat. As a counter measure the Kubelik is very similar in the way the music is allowed to flow as well. I really reccommend this disc simply becuase of the impeccable phrasing and well nigh perfect intonation in the different choirs.
As to the vocal solist Raskin does a commendable job and has some of the boyish quality really needed! She was tremdously good and one wonders where she is these days! This is a superb disc for the people out there who want a non fussy interpretation which really sticks close to the score.
Keep your Klemperer discs as well...Szell and Kemperer were much more alike than one would wish to think!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The top of the pile
This is about as good as it gets. In addition to a sweet, affectionate interpretation, we get probably the most-precise treatment of the text ever heard. Read more
Published 18 months ago by John J. Puccio
5.0 out of 5 stars Szell's definitive Mahler Fourth
In his biography of George Szell, Michael Charry (Szell's former assistant) tells the story about how Szell kept a cherished copy of the score of the Mahler Fourth with him, and... Read more
Published on July 29, 2011 by Firebrand
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional Mahler
For performing musicians the thing about Gustav Mahler's music is that it really keeps you busy: together with skads of people on stage you puff and saw away for all you're worth... Read more
Published on July 2, 2011 by Joseph Ryan
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Recording of Mahler's Fourth
After hearing a live performance of Mahler's Fourth Symphony by the National Symphony Orchestra with Christopher Eschenbach conducting and Dawn Upshaw as the soprano soloist, I... Read more
Published on April 13, 2011 by Robin Friedman
5.0 out of 5 stars Strange beauty
This is a wonderful symphony, comparable to the greatest symphonies of Sibelius or Tchaikovsky. It can even live in the company of Beethoven 6 and Mozart 40. Read more
Published on February 5, 2011 by William Shardlow
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest of all Mahler recordings
I grew up in the Cleveland area and was weaned, as it were, by George Szell. Hearing his concerts in Severance Hall were among the seminal experiences of my life. Read more
Published on November 6, 2010 by Allan S. Kohrman
5.0 out of 5 stars No sentimentality around here and who needs it?
Mahler was among the most sentimental composers of them all. Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov are the rare symphonists who approach Mahler on the sentimental turf. Read more
Published on September 23, 2010 by dv_forever
5.0 out of 5 stars Desert Island Disc
This is a perfect pairing and a perfect performance. All that I would say has been said in other reviews; but I feel compelled to add my praise. Read more
Published on August 6, 2010 by Harvey P. Soss
5.0 out of 5 stars Ohne Hast
Mahler's fourth symphony is perhaps most memorable for its unsettlingly gorgeous second movement, entitled 'In gemächlicher Bewegung. Ohne Hast. Read more
Published on December 16, 2006 by David A. Baer
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Glowing Star of a Recording of Mahler
This CD is an interesting pairing of performances - different orchestras, different conductors, different soloists. Read more
Published on October 31, 2005 by Grady Harp
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