Magdalena’s magic

Mahler: Symphony No. 4

Recorded live at the Concert Hall of the Culture and Convention Centre Lucerne, August 2010

During the summer of 2010, Claudio Abbado and his amazing Lucerne Festival Orchestra performed yet another symphonic work by Gustav Mahler: The Symphony No. 4. Abbado combined this orchestral work (which features a soprano solo in the finale) with Mahler’s “Rückert-Lieder”. The soloist in both works is the Czech soprano Magdalena Kozena.

The Program:


  • Symphony No. 4 in G major
  • Rückert-Lieder (5 songs, complete)

Performed by Magdalena Kožená (mezzo-soprano), with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, conducted by Claudio Abbado

Magdalena Kožená does not only make the “heavenly joys” resound in the final movement of Mahler’s fourth symphony. Before that, she devotes herself to the astounding beauty and intimate simplicity of Mahler’s Rückert Lieder. The results that she achieves in this music is truly magical!

Practically all the songs that Mahler composed prior to 1900 were based on texts from “Des Knaben Wunderhorn”, a collection of folk poems published by Clemens Brentano and Achim von Arnim. From then on, Mahler turned exclusively to a single poet – namely Friedrich Rückert.

Mahler confessed that the poems moved him so deeply that he sometimes felt he had written them himself. In the transcendent final Lied, “Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen”, he also quoted a phrase from the Adagio of his 4th symphony. Asked what it meant, he said that it personified himself.

Claudio Abbado is undeniably a supreme Mahler conductor and his best selling recordings with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra – symphonies No. 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7 have been previously released.

Here is Magdalena Kozena in Mahler’s “Ich atmet einen Linden Duft”


And now another astounding Mahler Lied: Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen with Kožená / Abbado


Is that not amazing singing?

Tags: Gustav Mahler, Claudio Abbado, Magdalena Kozena, Symphony 4, Rückert Lieder

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