Jonathan Nott

Mahler: Symphonie No. 4

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Jonathan Nott and the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra have embarked on a special project for Tudor to release the symphonies of Gustav Mahler on hybrid SACDs, and this 2006 recording of the Symphony No. 4 in G major is one of the best in the series, displaying the terrific sound and expressive playing for which the label and these musicians are noted. This performance sparkles with bright tone colors and sprightly rhythms, and Nott shows none of the reluctance to touch the music's expressive core that he sometimes reveals in his other performances of Mahler. Here he is fully engaged with the playfulness and humor that run through the music, and even in its weirdest moments, as in the macabre Scherzo, Nott keeps the symphony's overall tone buoyant and cheerful. The orchestra offers marvelous details in the chamber-like passages, giving this symphony a light and airy feeling, and it provides ideal accompaniment to soprano Mojca Erdmann's lovely singing in the finale, "Wir geniessen die himmlischen Freuden." There are many fine recordings of the Symphony No. 4 available, because it is one of Mahler's most popular works, but this performance surely must rank with the greatest, and because it is an audiophile recording that is playable on all equipment, it is indispensible to any collection. Highly recommended.

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