Mahler: Symphony No. 4 / Persson, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg
With their combination of modernism and Romantic nostalgia, and alternation of sweeping orchestral gestures with chamber-musical delicacy, Gustav Mahler’s orchestral works are as impressive and moving today as they were at the time of their premiere. This certainly applies to Mahler’s Fourth Symphony: a work that stands at the crossroads between the largely “Romantic” early symphonies nos. 1–3 and the much more “Modernist” middle-period symphonies nos. 5–7. It is also a fundamentally ambivalent piece: its joyous and accessible surface hides a surprising degree of complexity and even contrariness. While still employing many of the tropes of the traditional nineteenth-century symphony, Mahler at the same time undermines those tropes and distances himself from the symphonic tradition he inherited. The entire symphony works towards the pastoral folksong “Das himmlische Leben” in the fourth movement, sung here by the outstanding Swedish soprano Miah Persson. The Piano Quartet is Mahler’s only surviving chamber music composition, and the movement represented on this album is the only one he completed. Mahler wrote the piece most likely in 1876 or 1877. This is Gustavo Gimeno’s fourth recording with the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg (OPL) for Pentatone.
Catalog Number: PTC5186651
Composer: Gustav Mahler
Conductor: Gustavo Gimeno
Orchestra/Ensemble: Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra
Performer: Miah Persson