Mahler: Symphony No. 4 in G Major
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||Symphony No. 4 in G Major: I. Bedächtig. Nicht eilen. Recht gemächlich||San Francisco Symphony & Michael Tilson Thomas||17:39||Album Only||View In iTunes|
||Symphony No. 4 in G Major: II. In gemächlicher Bewugung. Ohne Hast||San Francisco Symphony & Michael Tilson Thomas||9:51||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Symphony No. 4 in G Major: III. Ruhevoll (Poco Adagio)||San Francisco Symphony & Michael Tilson Thomas||25:27||Album Only||View In iTunes|
||Symphony No. 4 in G Major: IV. Sehr behaglich||San Francisco Symphony, Michael Tilson Thomas & Laura Claycomb||9:26||$0.99||View In iTunes|
In a class by itself
This is hands down the finest recording and performance of Mahler 4. It is literally a performance, a recording edited from concerts, and an exquisite work of recording engineering. It's also the greatest performance of this music I've heard, out of a couple dozen well known recordings of this work. MTT has the SF Symphony playing at the level of the finest orchestras in the world, and he himself has so much to say as an artist. This is a marvelous display of what Mahler means to the musicians and how they convey it, through determined expression, exceptional phrasing and focussed concentration. Simply unforgettable.
The last movement is played to slowly but the piece is a classic and Tilson Thomas is a wonderful interpreter
A Flawless "Four" by the SFSO
Through their cycle of Mahler Symphonies (and other recordings as well), Michael Tilson Thomas ("MTT") and his San Francisco orchestra have shown not only the kind of richness, polish, and power that only the world's best orchestras possess, but a very special way with musical narrative as well. One can sense MTT's fine Yiddish theatrical background, full of delight in storytelling, coming through every note, every change of mood, even when we are tempted merely to be dumbstruck by the sounds being produced by his amazing orchestra.
Here, in Mahler's most lyrical symphony, the storytelling is gentler than in his other works, and MTT takes the opportunity to smell the roses along the way. And what roses they are; listen to the gossamer 3rd movement, where Tilson Thomas takes his players into a realm where time almost stops, and they play so softly that one could hear a cat's paws tread on the stage, but not a note goes awry, not a wind player loses their breath -- the whole thing stays suspended, and even rises and expands, like a spider's web on a thermal.
As an orchestral musician myself, I have to say, just -- wow.
This is priceless music-making, by an orchestra for the ages. Highly recommended.