10% discount on your next order!

Subscribe to our newsletter and receive a personal discount code for 10% discount on a album of your choice! After subscribing, you will receive the code in your email. This code is only valid for 10 days!

The code is valid one time and valid for a 10 days after receiving the promotioncode. Your emailaddress will only be used by Challenge Records International and will not be given to 3rd party advertisers. If you have any questions please contact us.

Manfred Honeck / Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

Symhony no. 4

  • Type SACD
  • Label Exton
  • UPC 4526977050481
  • Catalog number EXCL 48
  • Release date 07 January 2011
Physical (SACD)

Product is no longer available

Get the album digitally

High resolution download Spirit of Turtle iTunes

About the album

Manfred Honeck’s remark on the Mahler’s 4th symphony (from CD booklet): Mahler's Symphony No 4 is especially dear to my heart as although this work has a neo-classical structure and, due to the reduced orchestra size, offers a seemingly simple and naive sound world, on closer inspection it seems even more enigmatic and grotesque than Mahler's previous symphonies. The interplay of the eerie and the idyllic, that famous Mahleresque ambiguity, leaves its distinctive stamp on this symphony like on none of the others composed earlier.

My starting-point for the understanding of this work is the fourth movement which was originally intended as final movement for the third symphony and hence was written a few years earlier. Originally, Mahler had given it the title "What the child tells me". The description of life in paradise is interrupted by biting, razor-sharp figures. You might possibly perceive these passages as faster than usual but actually Mahler himself explicitly demanded in a footnote a faster tempo than at the beginning of the symphony. Accordingly, the grotesque is supposed to sound even more demonic and the idyllic even more innocent and childlike. For this reason it was also of great importance to me to choose a soloist with a notedly lyrical and childlike voice (it is, after all, "The YOUTH's Magic Horn") in order to corroborate this innocence and purity.  I think I found her in soprano Sunhae Im.

The second movement likewise lives on this interplay. Altogether, I did not consider it necessary to have the solo violin (called "fiddle" by Mahler) play even more grotesquely as the instrument is already tuned a whole tone higher than standard, but it was important to me to highlight elements such as the dance parts borrowed from traditional Austrian folk music with their typical offbeats and short standstills.
A further challenge for me was the rubato playing which is an essential ingredient of Austrian folk music and which is essential to me for the performance of Mahler's music. This work demands a special measure of rubato playing similar to the music of Johann Strauß.

For me this symphony, requiring a combination of chamber music discipline and orchestral virtuosity with the earthiness of folk-music and surprisingly classical form, unites central European traditions stemming directly from spirit of Joseph Haydn. (by Manfred Honeck)

Add a comment

We need to make sure that you are really an human, please enter the code below.