Mahler’s Symphony #4
I will always remember my visits to the lake region in Austria, about an hour away from the historic town of Salzburg. Gustav Mahler spent his vacations there on a lake called the Attersee. He had a small cottage built on the lakeshore at a village called ‘Steinbach am Attersee’, and he used it to compose some of his music there, including the early symphonies.
On one occasion, Mahler welcomed a guest at the lake area, his good friend, Bruno Walter. As the guest looked around at the marvel of the mountains and the lake, Mahler said: “No need to look at all that; I have already composed this into my music!”
And that’s one of the reasons why I love Mahler’s music so much: I can re-experience the beauty of the Austrian countryside through this amazing music.
I am listening to this music today, and it is one terrific performance.
On this DVD, we hear Mahler’s Symphony #4.
The track titles of this DVD are as follows:
- I. Bedachtig. Nicht eilen Recht gemachlich. (reflective; measured)
- II. In gemachlicher Bewegung. Ohne Hast (Moving; without haste)
- III. Ruhevoll (Poco adagio) (Quiet; Adagio)
- IV. ‘Sehr behaglich ‘Wir geniessen die himmlischen Freuden’
(Very comfortable; We enjoy the joys of heaven)
The Bonus tracks feature the following:
- The Welte-Mignon Piano Player Device
- Mahler plays Mahler Symphony No. 4, 4th movement
- Riccardo Chailly speaks about interpreting Mahler’s 4th Symphony with the Gewandhaus Orchestra (worth hearing!)
Here is Riccardo Chailly, talking about Mahler
Gustav Mahler’s description of the third movement of his Fourth Symphony was that it features “The greatest mix of colors that ever existed”. Riccardo Chailly and the Gewandhaus Orchestra transform the entire Fourth Symphony into this kaleidoscope of sound.
Here is a small section of their performance of this work:
In the past, one of the specialists in performing the music of Gustav Mahler was Leonard Bernstein. Here now is Mahler’s Symphony No 4 G major, with Leonard Bernstein conducting the Wiener Philharmoniker: (57 minutes)
Tags: Gustav Mahler, Symphony #4, Riccardo Chailly, Bernstein