Related Reviews
Spiegel Online
‘Solistenensemble diesen Kosmos an Klang und Stimmungen mit Kammermusik-Mitteln erforscht, zeugt von Selbstbewusstsein. Bitte mehr Experimente dieser Art, Mr. Pinnock!’
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Hi-Fi News
'...the performances are just enjoyable in their own right.'
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Toronto Star
‘Here is a stunning example of less being infinitely more.’
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Audiophile Norway
'An incredibly great recording…I can hardly wait for the next.’
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International Record Review
‘The recording is warm and clear…I’ve certainly enjoyed it.’
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Pulsion Audio
‘Les musiciens sont de premier ordre: la Royal Academy of Music Soloists est dirigée par une main de maître et avec tout le savoir-faire de Trevor Pinnock. Un plaisir assuré!’
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The New Zealand Herald
4 Stars
'Drawing-room Mahler brings new sounds and insights.'
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MusicWeb International
‘Overall however this is a performance to treasure, crowned by a delightfully natural account of the soprano solo in the last movement by Sónia Grané.’
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Infodad
'Sensitively scaled arrangement brings forth elements of Mahler that are always there but that tend to disappear beneath the excellence of his orchestrations.'
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Classical CD Review
‘Performances here are superb as is the audio.’
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BBC Music Magazine
'Trevor Pinnock directs a disciplined and expressive performance...'
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The Guardian
4 Stars
'The introduction of the soprano soloist (Sónia Grané here) for the final movement becomes utterly natural, and creates all kinds of unexpected connections, not only with Mahler's own songs but with Schoenberg's works, too. A satisfying, thought-provoking disc.'
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The Herald Scotland
'Simply, this is one of the most beautiful and revealing discs I have heard in years. I am completely hooked.'
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The Herald Scotland
'... something remarkable and completely extraordinary...'
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Financial Times
4 Stars
'Both capture a simplicity of timbre and colouring that goes to the essence of the music...'
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Gramophone
'Under Pinnock, the Royal Academy of Music's Chamber Ensemble bring to the surface the lithe counterpoint that usually lumbers under thicker string textures, while soprano Sonia Grane succeeds admirably in illuminating the piece's inner folksong.'
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Dagogo.com
'The stripped-back orchestration of both pieces offer the listener a fresh perspective on these popular works.'
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BachTrack.com
‘Trevor Pinnock communicated energy, enthusiasm and natural phrasing to the RAM students. He brought a beauty to the Mahler.'
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Trevor Pinnock and RAM - Mahler - Sinfini Music


12 July 2013
Sinfini Music
Philip Clark
4 Stars

So you've got your Bernstein, Karajan and Rattle recordings of Mahler's Fourth. Why would you want to hear an arrangement for 14-piece chamber ensemble of that same symphony? 

Personally, I find the idea of secret histories utterly irresistible, and what could be more intoxicating than the secret history of a shadowy, elite, turn-of-the-century Viennese underground music society headed up by Arnold Schoenberg? That's the milieu into which this mini-me arrangement, prepared by Schoenberg's star pupil Erwin Stein, was born, a world that considered Mahler more conductor than composer, an ambition-rich, cash-poor, subscriber-only concert series (which very sensibly barred critics from attending) that relished niche composers and found creative ways to hear their most important works. 

Stein created an X-ray of Mahler's piece, the flesh scooped away so you can hear in rare close-up the inner moving parts; the bones, the connective tissue, the beating heart. And the point, I think, is not to listen and regret that the piano has been left to carry the weight of the third movement's climactic points-of-arrival, or that the Mozartian/Schubertian opening movement lacks the cushion of a full string section. Mahler concludes his symphony with a setting for soprano - here the totally loveable Sónia Grané - from his much-plundered volume of folk poems Das Knaben Wunderhorn; this poem is a child's view of heaven, and the folksy lilt of a thinned-out first movement stresses how deeply Mahler's end is rooted in his beginnings. 

And there's a prologue: Trevor Pinnock and his intrepid Royal Academy of Music players begin with an arrangement overseen by Schoenberg of Debussy's Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune, harmonium acting like a sampler filling out the missing parts, impressionistic whimsy before Mahler takes it to heaven.


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Mahler: Symphonie No. 4Mahler: Symphonie No. 4