Let Mahler’s Fourth Symphony lead you into a sunny and childlike world, conducted by Lawrence Renes and featuring Jacqueline Porter. In the composers’ own words, his Fourth is all humour and naivety, but it is no less powerful for it. After the drama and power of his first three symphonies, Mahler steps back into an immaculately presented world of innocence and congeniality. Carefully constructed to point towards the final movement and, unusually, the solo soprano it features, this music encapsulated the original title of the poem: ‘There is not a cloud in the sky’. Opening with its iconic sleigh bells, a sense of moderation and childlike innocence sets the stage for Mahler’s shortest symphony at just under an hour. The inner movements are equally compelling, the second inspired by Arnold Bocklin’s painting “Self Portrait with death playing the Fiddle” and featuring a ghostly and folkish violin solo, and the third a stunning adagio the composer thought to be among his finest writing. The finale is glorious in its inventiveness in simplicity, with the lone soprano spinning a fine gossamer thread of the Bavarian folk song “Heaven is Hung with Violins” above the orchestra. FEATURING Lawrence Renes, conductor Jacqueline Porter, soprano PROGRAM MAHLER Symphony No.4
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