Mahler/Stein: Symphony No 4

Fri, Aug 16, 2013, 00:00


Mahler Symphony No 4

Sónia Grané, Royal Academy of Music Soloists Ensemble, Trevor Pinnock, Gustav Mahler, Claude Debussy

Linn Records


Why would anyone arrange Mahler’s Fourth Symphony – and Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune – for chamber ensemble? To include them in the programmes of the Society for Private Musical Performances, the short-lived (1918-21) utopian modern music club set up by Alban Berg and Arnold Schoenberg, which banned appluse and critics, and used specially prepared arrangements for larger works. Erwin Stein (in the Mahler) and Benno Sachs (the Debussy) preserve more than you might have thought possible. But there are moments, such as the climax of the slow movement in the Mahler, that are too spare to be effective. Trevor Pinnock’s performances with students of the Royal Academy of Music are more efficient than inspired.