Mahler: Symphony No. 4
|1. Bedachtig. Nicht Eilen|
|2. In Gemachlicher Bewegung. Ohne Hast|
|4. Sehr Behaglich|
Mahler's Fourth and Das Lied von der Erde were Reiner's only Mahler recordings with the Chicago Symphony, and both are reminders of his orchestral wizardry and his prowess as a Mahlerian. Tempos are on the swift side for a piece many conductors like to linger over, but the forward flow doesn't obscure telling details. Reiner gives the slow movement a chaste solemnity, and the final heavenly vision is beautifully sung by the creamy voiced Della Casa. This Mahler's Fourth falls closer to Boulez's objectivity than to Bernstein's emotionalism and remains today what it was when recorded--one of the best Mahler Fourths in the catalog. It's also one of the best-sounding, as RCA's Living Stereo engineering holds its own even after 40 years. --Dan Davis
Top Customer Reviews
Still, nothing spoils the radiant sweetness of this quick but abidingly musical performance. The third movement opening phrases are in fact among the fastest I have heard, but the Chicago string players breath as one player, their lovely tone quality sounding from another generation despite the crisp articulation. In the final movement, the orchestra's clear but gentle delineation of detail creates a perfect accompaniment to Lisa della Casa. Others of Reiner's recordings ( his Beethoven 6th,Strauss Ein Heldenleben, Debussy La Mer) also contradict his severe appearance and image while still showing flawless preparation and execution.
Aside from the rumble, the sound is really beautiful-resonant with orchestral solos in clear perspecive and plenty of mass and power when Mahler's dynamic range opens up. So, test your concentration on track two to enjoy an unforgettable experience!
One of many potentially great recordings that got away!