Mahler: Symphony No. 4 in G major
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Manfred Honeck conducting, with Ms. Sunhae Im (soprano)
This new recording of the Fourth Symphony in G Major is the second release by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and its new conductor, Manfred Honeck in a series of recordings of the symphonies of Gustav Mahler. The singer featured in the last movement is the Korean soprano Sunhae Im.
The Austrian conductor Manfred Honeck began his career as conductor of Vienna’s Jeunesse Orchestra which he co-founded. After several highly successful guest appearances as conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, he was appointed its ninth Music Director in 2008.
Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 in G Major was written between 1899 and 1901. The last movement incorporates a song for soprano entitled “Das himmlische Leben” which was originally written in 1892, and presents a child’s vision of Heaven.
While this symphony is one of my great favorites, I was somewhat disappointed by this performance. I found the singing in the final movement to be somewhat flawed, and lacking the child-like, innocent view of heaven. And while I heard all the “notes’ in the music, for me the “Mahler thrill” was somehow lacking. This music always connects me with the Austrian countryside around the Austrian lake country close to the Attersee, where Mahler spent his summers. I could not achieve my usual transport to that area when listening to this particular CD.
For what it’s worth: I love the artwork of the CD cover!
Here’s a video that I find outstanding:
Symphony No. 4 in G major, 4th Movement, sung by Edith Mathis, conducted by Leonard Bernstein
Performed by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (Wiener Philharmoniker)
Tags: Mahler 4, Honeck, Pittsburgh Symphony