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SIG 219
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SIG 219

Mahler - Symphony No.4

The Classical Shop
release date: December 2010

Originally recorded in 2010


Philharmonia Orchestra

Sir Charles Mackerras

Sarah Fox



Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

16th Feb 2006


Misha Donat


Tony Faulkner

Record Label


Orchestral & Concertos

Total Time - 56:43
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Symphony No.4 in G major

1 I Bedächtig, Nicht eilen 16:12
2 II In gemächlicher Bewegung 9:11
3 III Ruhevoll 21:44
4 IV Sehr behaglich 9:36

Recorded at the Royal Festival Hall in February 2006, the next album in Signum’s series of live orchestral recordings with the Philharmonia features the late Sir Charles Mackerras conducting Mahler’s symphony no 4. The concert was a memorable one, as this review demonstrates:

"This performance was inspired and interesting ... Setting off at a no-nonsense, fastish sped, Mackerras’s appreciation of the numerous changes of tempos was a miracle of refined music-making that enhanced the rustic joys of the first movement. What impressed so much was the innate humanity of this music that in other hands can come across as insincere.
Each movement received wonderful care for the senitment that lies behind the notes; the slowmovement in particular was of a poise and serentity that was truly touching. The singing of Sarah Fox in the finale embellished the entire sense of naturalness that was enshrined in this memorable rendition, a triumph for the partnership of the Philharmonia Orchestra, on riveting form, and the venerables Mackerras." - Edward Clark - - 16 Feb 2006

           Performance  ****      Recording *****

Stephen Johnson - BBC Music Magazine, April 2011                    


 Guiseppe Rossi - Musica, February 2011

        Recording of the Month

"This is a very fine Mahler Fourth and a treasurable example of the work of a great conductor in repertoire with which he was not automatically associated. The catalogue is bursting with recordings of this symphony but this most enjoyable and thoroughly musical reading can safely be ranked among the best."

John Quinn

MusicWeb-International - February 2011

      Artistic Quality 9    Sound Quality 8

Charles Mackerras had style. No matter what the repertoire, or how interventionist his interpretation, he always worked with the music, never against it. His Mahler has all the typically Mahlerian hallmarks: generous portamento, careful observation of luftpauses, wide-ranging tempos, crisp and clear percussion, and basically perfect balances between strings and winds. The solo violin in the scherzo has lots of character; Sarah Fox sings the finale with the right sense of innocence and wonder, and the adagio’s variations merge seamlessly into one another--except where Mahler says that they shouldn’t. It all flows beautifully, and only a few moments of iffy ensemble betray the recording’s live provenance. There are too many superb performances of this symphony to say that this one belongs with the absolute best, but it’s very, very good, well recorded before a generally quiet audience, and a splendid memento of a truly great conductor.

David Hurwitz - 12 January 2011

"...This is exceptionally good; I thought I’d manage to finish 2010 without mentioning another Mahler release, but this live recording, recorded in London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall in 2006, is a stunner."

Graham Rickson - 20 November 2010


Andrew Clements

The Guardian

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