Lisa Larsson / Antonello Manacorda / Arnhem Philharmonic Orchestra

Mahler: Symphony No. 4

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Antonello Manacorda's second release on Challenge Classics is an audiophile presentation of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 4 in G major, with three related lieder from Des Knaben Wunderhorn. Manacorda leads the Het Gelders Orkest in a spirited performance that makes the most of the work's bright sonorities, classic elegance, and playfulness, and soprano Lisa Larsson brings a childlike wonder to the radiant finale, Wir geniessen die himmlischen Freuden. The songs, Das irdische Leben, Verlor'ne Müh!, and Lob des hohen Verstandes, are thematically connected to the symphony, and their inclusion enhances the experience for listeners by illustrating Mahler's practice of incorporating his vocal music into the fabric of his early symphonies. Larsson's engaging interpretations make these filler pieces a real treat, and a fine addition to the exceptional performance of the Fourth. The splendid super audio recording has an extraordinary dynamic range, and the spacious acoustics give the orchestra room to breathe and credible presence. Highly recommended.

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