Mahler - Symphony No. 4 (2015)

Mahler

Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra

Marc Albrecht

“[...] Furthermore, I would not be happy to introduce a new work – the first that is perhaps a more practical response to existing conditions, and thus being received in a less prejudicial and more benign manner, in more favourable circumstances, can bring me the only reward I wish to obtain from my work: to be heard and understood – to the audience in Berlin, an audience that does not know me and that has been alienated from me in advance thanks to short-sighted criticism in the press [...] and I request that you, my dear Strauss, do not for the time being usher my fourth symphony into the realm of your ideas.” This well-turned phrase appears in a letter from Gustav Mahler dated July 1901, in which he attempts to prevent his colleague Richard Strauss from scheduling the first performance of his Symphony No. 4 in Berlin. Mahler was concerned about the acoustics of the hall, the quality of the orchestra, and in particular the attitude of the Berlin press, which had taken an extremely hostile stance towards his music in the past. He wanted the première of the new work to take place in the most ideal conditions. Thus, the first performance was finally staged in Munich on November 25, 1901 under the direction of the composer himself.
The story behind Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 is lengthy. The seed for the work was sown back in 1892, when the composer set to music some folk-song texts from the collection Des Knaben Wunderhorn by Achim von Arnim and Clemens Brentano, entitling them Humoresken. Just as he had reused the music of his Wunderhorn lieder in his first two symphonies, Mahler was planning to include the lied Das himmlische Leben as the last part of his Symphony No. 3, entitling it Was mir das Kind erzählt. The fact that melodic material from this lied shows up not only in the fifth movement of the symphony, but can even be found in embryonic form in the first movement, is proof of how far Mahler had already progressed with the implementation of this idea.

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Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra

With 130 musicians the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra is the largest orchestral organization in the Netherlands. Founded in 1985 as a merger of the Amsterdam Philharmonic, the Utrecht Symphony and the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra continues the tradition of its predecessors in offering an attractive combination of accessible concert programs, in which works from the core repertoire are combined with contemporary music. The orchestra has a tradition in performing the music of Dutch composers and has commissioned and premiered works by Andriessen, Loevendie, Jeths, Franssens, van Onna, Hamburg, Kox, Koolmees and Ketting.

Marc Albrecht

Marc Albrecht, chief conductor of De Nederlandse Opera and the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, is highly regarded for his interpretations of works by Wagner and Richard Strauss, as well as contemporary works. He has been a guest conductor with the Berlin Philharmonic, the Munich Philharmonic, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the orchestras of Rome (Santa Cecilia), Dresden and Lyons. He has led operas including Der fliegende Holländer (Bayreuther Festspiele, 2003-2006), Die Bacchantinnen (Salzburger Festspiele, 2005) and From the House of the Dead (Opéra national de Paris, 2005). From 2001 to 2004 he was principal guest conductor at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, where his engagements included a highly acclaimed performance of Messiaen’s Saint François d’Assise. He was artistic director and chief conductor of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg from 2006 to 2011. He also enjoys a close association with the Semperoper Dresden, where he led the productions of Die Frau ohne Schatten and La damnation de Faust in 2007. Recent conducting engagements include The Bassarids (Bayerische Staatsoper München), Der fliegende Holländer (ROH Covent Garden), Der Prinz von Homburg (Theater an der Wien), Lulu with the Wiener Philharmoniker (Salzburg), Elektra, Orest and The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevronia (DNO) and his debut at La Scala with Die Frau ohne Schatten. 

Elizabeth Watts

With a voice described by International Record Review as "one of the most beautiful Britain has produced in a generation" Elizabeth Watts has established herself as "one of the brightest new talents" (The Independent). Her debut recording of Schubert Lieder for  SONY Red Seal, a Gramophone magazine’s ‘Editor's Choice’, was hailed for its "milky timbre & interpretative maturity" (FT) "technical mastery" (Gramophone) and "radiant delivery" (BBC Music).  She has also released a disc of Bach Cantatas for Harmonia Mundi and most recently a disc of Strauss Songs for Hyperion, both to critical acclaim. Forthcoming recordings include CPE Bach’s Magnificat and JS Bach’s St John Passion.
Elizabeth was a chorister at Norwich Cathedral and studied archaeology at Sheffield University, before attending the Royal College of Music. She was selected by YCAT in 2004, won the 2006 Kathleen Ferrier Prize, the 2007 Outstanding Young Artist Award at the Cannes "MIDEM Classique Awards" and gained international recognition at the 2007 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, winning the Rosenblatt Recital Song Prize. From 2005- 2007 she was a member of English National Opera’s Young Singers Programme, where she appeared as Papagena Die Zauberflöte, Barbarina Figaro, Music and Hope in Monteverdi L’Orfeo and in Purcell King Arthur. She currently is an Artist in Residence at the Southbank Centre, London and the recipient of a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award.

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Mahler - Symphony No. 4 (2015)

Mahler

Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra

    Gramophone

Successively excited, rueful and at peace, [Watts] leaves extremes of colour to the orchestration around her…I especially enjoy Albrecht and the orchestra letting the sunshine into the Scherzo, and their negotiation of the first movement is classical in form and conception…in its self-effacing way, the performance is true to the symphony's deceptive charm.

Peter Quantrill

    Presto Classical

The Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra lives up to its reputation for its brilliant Mahler performances and surpasses all expectations under the baton of conductor Marc Albrecht. The perfect combination of immaculate performance with impeccable PENTATONE sound quality can only result in a magical musical experience.

Mahler - Symphony No. 4 (2015)

Mahler

Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra

Producer: Wolfram Nehls
Recording Engineer: Jean Marie Geijsen
Recording location: NedPho - Koepel Amsterdam, Holland
Recording Software: Merging
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64

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PTC5186487: Mahler - Symphony No. 4
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Tracks.
1.
Symphony No. 4 - Bedachtig
Mahler
00:16:34   N/A
2.
Symphony No. 4 - In gemachlicher Bewegung
Mahler
00:10:14   N/A
3.
Symphony No. 4 - Ruhevoll (Poco adagio)
Mahler
00:21:42   N/A
4.
Symphony No. 4 - Sehr behaglich
Mahler
00:09:20   N/A

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