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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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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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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Sinfini Music
4 Stars
'Don't dismiss this stripped-down version of Mahler's symphony, says Philip Clark. Trevor Pinnock and his players have uncovered a gem from the Viennese musical underworld.'
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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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Royal Academy of Music Soloists Ensemble & Trevor Pinnock - Mahler: Symphony No. 4 - Audiophile Norway


17 October 2013
Audiophile Norway
Karl Erik Sylthe

A rough translation of the original Norwegian review:

Music.

The main content of this multi-channel SACD from Linn Records is a symphony by Mahler. The fourth in the series of 9. Or 10 really, since he tries to cheat death by calling the true ninth symphony 'Das Lied von der Erde.' Several composers before him had died after writing his 9th symphony. This seemed to help, for Gustrav Mahler survived 'Das Lied von der Erde.' But when he proudly called his next symphony for the 9th, it was his path.

Gustav Mahler 4 symphony he wrote around the turn of the century, for a full symphony orchestra. In 1920, nine years after his death there was a man named Erwin Stein who orchestrated symphony for chamber orchestra - 14 instruments and a solo soprano. The event was first performed on 10 January 1921. This was part of a movement called Verein für musikalische Privataufführungen, which was founded by Arnold Schönberg, in 1918. The motivation for rearranging for chamber orchestra was in many cases of practical art - chamber orchestra was easier both to accommodate the performance of, not to mention less expensive to hire.

The interesting question is: is this a lean version of Mahler's 4th? Kind of low-fat? To this question the recent recording from Linn Records give a crystal clear answer.


The performance

Linn Records has started a collaboration with the Royal Academy of Music Soloists Ensemble of London. This is the first release in the collaboration, where they have taken hold of Erwin Stein's orchestration, reconstructed by Alexander Platt.

Trevor Pinnock is the conductor of the release, and he should probably take much of the credit for this being an amazing dynamic interpretation. Mahler`s Symphony No.4 is here performed with a nerve I have not been close to experiencing in other recordings of this symphony.

I believe that the explanation for this is threefold. No doubt that Pinnock's interpretation is dominated by temperature and dynamics, and receives full support of a brilliant ensemble. Equally important, I think, is the stripped down orchestration. There is often more than me who has a little two-fold compared to Mahler's symphonies. Very beautiful, dramatic, emotional and at times sentimental. But at the same time the orchestration can often be a little too overwhelming. In this chamber-edition the music is more stripped, and it feels entirely positive. Before the first time I experience also something I see as a kind of pre-echo of the opening of 1st movement of the 5th symphony, this approx. 9 ½ minutes into the 1st rate of 4th symphony.

Mahler 4 symphony is accompanied by Debussy's Prelude a 'L'apres-midi d'un faune'. A beautiful piece, which was actually conceived as part of a larger work. Yet it must be admitted that Debussy fail to arouse my enthusiasm at the same level as Mahler does here. So there is indeed only a small introduction to the disc.

The sound

I mentioned earlier that the credit for the dynamic experience was threefold. And the last, but not least factor is undoubtedly an extremely dynamic sound from Linn Records. It is hard to imagine that it has been tweaked significantly in controls of dynamic compression in the studio, and here this is even more pronounced than in a good part of the many previous releases I've listened to.

Also interesting is that the multi-channel mix is far less conservative than some other SACDs from Linn Records has presented. The record company has had a very large range in the exercise, as opposed to 2L, as well invariably have pretty radical multichannel mix on their releases. This in practice means that the listener will feel at one - and 2L's case also in the midst. Personally I'm a big fan of this approach, but there are certainly opponents who think that this is too little Hifi-politically correct. In this release gives the result that we get close to the orchestra. And the music. Incredibly nice and engaging!

This is an incredibly great recording from Linn Records - both musically, and not least sonically. Linn Records have indicated that this is the first in a series in collaboration with the Royal Academy of Music Soloists Ensemble. I can hardly wait for the next.

_

The original Norwegian review: 

Musikken.

Hovedinnholdet i denne multikanals SACDen fra Linn Records er en symfoni av Mahler. Den fjerde i rekken av 9, eller egentlig 10, siden han forsøkte å lure døden ved å kalle den egentlige niendesymfonien for «Das Lied von der Erde». Flere komponister før han hadde mistet livet etter å ha skrevet sin 9. symfoni. Dette lot til å hjelpe, for Gustrav Mahler overlevde «Das Lied von der Erde». Men da han overmodig kalte sin neste symfonie for den 9., ble det hans bane.

Gustav Mahlers 4. symfoni skrev han rundt forrige århundreskifte, for fullt symfoniorkester. I 1920, 9 år etter hans død var det en mann med navn Erwin Stein som orkestrerte symfonien for kammerorkester - 14 instrumenter og en solo sopran (i 4 sats). Arrangementet ble urfremført 10. januar 1921. Dette var et ledd i en bevegelse kalt Verein für musikalische Privataufführungen, som ble grunnlagt av Arnold Schønberg i 1918. Motivasjonen for omorkestrering til kammerorkester var var nok i mange tilfeller av praktisk art - kammerorkester var enklere å både å huse fremføringen av , og ikke minst rimeligere å hyre.

Det interessante spørsmålet er: blir dette en magerutgave av Mahlers 4.? Dette gir vår innspilling fra Linn Records et krystall klart svar på.

Linn Records har startet et samarbeid med Royal Academy of Music Soloists Ensemble i London. Dette er den første utgivelsen I samarbeidet, og her har de tatt fatt i Erwin Stein sin orkestrering, rekonstruert av Alexander Platt.

Utførelsen

Trevor Pinnock er dirigent på utgivelsen, og han må nok ta en stor del av æren for at dette har blitt en fantastisk dynamisk tolking. Mahlers 4. Symfoni fremføres her med en nerve jeg ikke har vært i nærheten av å ha opplevd på andre innspillinger.

Jeg tror at forklaringen på dette er tredelt. Ingen tvil om at Pinnock sin tolking er dominert av temperatur og dynamikk, og får full oppfølging av et strålende ensemble. Minst like viktig tror jeg den nedstrippede orkestreringen er. Det er gjerne flere enn meg som har et litt todelt forhold til Mahlers symfonier. Veldig flott, dramatisk, følelsesladet og tidvis sentimentalt. Men samtidig kan orkestreringen være litt vel overveldende. På denne kammerutgaven er musikken mer avkledd, og det oppleves udelt positivt. Før første gang opplever jeg også noe jeg oppfatter som et slags pre-ekko til åpningen av 1.satsen på 5.symfonien, dette ca. 9 ½ minutt ut i 1. satsen på 4. symfonien.

Mahlers 4. symfoni er ledsaget av Prelude Debussy sin Prelude a L' après-midi d' un faune. Et vakkert stykke, som egentlig var tenkt som en del av et større verk. Likevel må det innrømmes at Debussy ikke greier å vekke min begeistring på samme nivå som Mahler gjør her. Så der det da også bare en liten innledning til hele skiven.

Lyden

Jeg nevnte tidligere at æren for den dynamiske opplevelsen var tredelt. Og den sist, men ikke minste faktoren er nok utvilsomt en særdeles dynamisk lydgjengivelse fra Linn Records sin side. Det er vansklig å forestille seg at det har blitt dratt nevneverdig i spakene for dynamisk kompimering i studio, og her er dette enda mer uttalt enn på en god del av de mange tidligere utgivelsene jeg har lyttet til.

Også interessant er det at mulikanalsmiksen er langt mindre konservativ enn det enkelte andre SACDer fra Linn Records har presentert. Plateselskapet har hatt et veldig stort spekter i den øvelsen, i motsetning til 2L, som vel uten unntak har temmelig radikal multikanalsmiks på sine utgivelser. Dette vil i praksis si at lytteren kommer tett på - og i 2L sitt tilfelle også midt iblant. Personlig er jeg en stor tilhenger av denne tilnærmingen, men det finnes absolutt motstandere som syns at det blir alt for lite Hifi-politisk korrekt. I denne utgivelsen gir det som resultat at vi kommer tett på orkesteret. Og på musikken. Utrolig flott og engasjerende.

Dette er en utrolig flott innspilling fra Linn Records - både musikalsk, og ikke minst lydmessig. Linn records har antydet at dette er den første i en serie i samarbeid med med Royal Academy of Music Soloists Ensemble. Jeg kan knapt vente på neste.
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Mahler: Symphonie No. 4Mahler: Symphonie No. 4