Many thanks to our friend Jean-Luc for this very rare live gem.
Leonard Bernstein’s earlier recording of this symphony for Sony was, and remains, one of the best. This new one, however, really is something special. As in his recording of the First with this orchestra, Bernstein’s tempos have markedly speeded up, especially in the slow movement. He seems to have really discovered the secret of the music’s essential innocence, and he now knows exactly when to make a point and when to just let the music speak naturally. The use of a boy soprano in the finale is unique but not unexpected. Mahler himself thought about it but opted for an adult soprano because he believed that this would prove less limiting to future performances of the work. He was right, of course, but so is Bernstein for letting us hear the composer’s original thoughts in such a pure and enjoyable form. –David Hurwitz
# Composer: Gustav Mahler
# Child Soprano: Helmut Wittek
# Orchestra: Concertogebouworkest Amsterdam
# Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
# Vinyl (1988)
# Number of Discs: 1
# Format: Flac
# Label: DGG
# DR-Analysis: DR 17
# Size: 1.12 GB
# Scan: yes
# Server: FileFactory
Startlingly well recorded, the piece, its Composer, and the Conductor are all well matched. Lenny’s choice of a boy soprano is inspired, giving the last movement the character and lightness of being that is lacking in other versions.
While young Wittek’s technique is not always perfect (it’s true that there are weak notes here and there) there is an essential innocence to him – probably because he is a kid, after all, and these verses were meant to be sung by someone his age. Artistically, it makes perfect sense. So what if he can’t belt it out like some fat Wagnerian diva? Is that really the point?
Hearing Wittek sing these words, I was immediately reminded of the poem “Fern Hill” by Dylan Thomas:
And as I was green and carefree, famous among the barns
About the happy yard and singing as the farm was home,
In the sun that is young once only,
Time let me play and be
Golden in the mercy of his means,
And green and golden I was huntsman and herdsman, the calves
Sang to my horn, the foxes on the hills barked clear and cold,
And the sabbath rang slowly
In the pebbles of the holy streams.
|Symphony No. 4 In G Major|
|A1||Bedächtig, Nicht Eilen||17:39|
|A2||In Gemächlicher Bewegung, Ohne Hast||10:13|
Analyzed folder: /96k Mahler – Symphony No. 4 – Bernstein
DR Peak RMS Filename
DR16 -0.50 dB -23.15 dB A1 Symphony No. 4 In G Major – 1, Bedaechtig, Nicht Eilen.aif
DR15 -8.55 dB -30.09 dB A2 Symphony No. 4 In G Major – 2, In Gemaechlicher Bewegung, Ohne Hast.aif
DR16 -0.70 dB -24.62 dB B1 Symphony No. 4 In G Major – 3, Ruhevoll.aif
DR19 -2.75 dB -29.09 dB B2 Symphony No. 4 In G Major – 4, Sehr Behaglich.aif
Number of files: 4
Official DR value: DR17
- Composed By – Gustav Mahler
- Conductor – Leonard Bernstein
- Orchestra – Concertgebouworkest Amsterdam
- Child Soprano – Helmut Wittek
- RCM: Okki Nokki (L’art du son, Clearaudio’s Diamond Cleaner)
- TT: Vintage (1982) Yamaha PX-3
- Cartridge: Sumiko Black Bird
Cartridge: ZYX 50R Bloom
- Phono amp: Pro-Ject Phono Box RS
- ADC/DAC: RME Fireface UC
- Pre Amp: Große Vorstufe, Erste Frankfurter Röhrenmanufaktur (Tube)
- Finals: Opera Consonance 9.9 Mono (Tube)
- Speakers: Dali Helikon 400
- Connections: MIT Terminator, Audioquest Emerald, Audioquest Quartz
If You hear some clicks and pops here and there, Who cares?
Id rather have a few light anomalies instead of destroying the music.
Enjoy the music, not the ticks & pops.
I tend more and more, in the last time, to de-click with an automatic setting between 0.7 and 1.2 so you can say, my rips are like half rough rips.
- Software: iZotope RX 4 Advanced, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
- Very light de-clicking with iZotope, significant clicks manually removing, no de-noising
- DR-Analisys before converting to Flac
- Converting Wave -> Flac: Twisted Wave 1.9
- Artwork: Sony Alpha 350, Epson Perfection V750 Pro, Photoshop CS 5.5
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