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BFO - Gustav Mahler: Symphony no. 4 in G major - Gramophone

01 March 2009
5 Stars

What no-one will deny is the amazing unanimity and precision of the playing here and the superlative quality of the sound engineering.

Some maestro's choose between neo-classical modernity and old-world Gemütlichkeit.  Fischer gives us both and more: he gives us instability.  Rather than taking his cue from the opening bars in which the jingling sleigh bells might be construed to lose their way, Fischer mixes them down, introducing his own eccentric nuance a fraction later.  He permits an oasis of exquisite repose just before the movement's final flourish, yet much of the rest is unsettling.

In the finale, Fischer achieves novelty chiefly through understatement, mindful of the need to avoid coyness at all costs.  Miah Persson is ideally cast and as she invokes Saint Martha at 3'56" it's as if we're transported to a small village church, the organ made tangible in the exquisite treatment of the accompanying instrumental texture.

This is just one of the countless imaginative touches on an exceptional hybrid SACD which must surely be an Awards candidate in 2009.

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Gustav Mahler: Symphony no. 4 in G majorGustav Mahler: Symphony no. 4 in G major