add to wish list | library

9 of 9 recommend this,
would you recommend it?

yes | no

  Exton -
  Mahler: Symphony No. 4 - Macal
  Mahler: Symphony No. 4

Michaela Kaune (soprano)
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Zdenek Macal (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:

start discussion | delete from library | delete recommendation | report errors
Related titles: 9 show all

Reviews: 2
add review

Site review by Polly Nomial January 21, 2009
Performance:   Sonics:  
A disappointing recording in many ways.

After Mahler: Symphony No. 1 - Nott, I had high hopes but was sorely disappointed. Like the release of the third symphony, this was a mix of concert and sessions patched together. Unlike the third symphony, there is a widespread refusal of many in the woodwind and brass to tune to each other or the strings - not at all pleasant on repeated listening. There is even a very clear mistake in the solo violin part in the second movement, which in a way sums up the production values of this release. Nor is the soprano soloist, Michaela Kaune, ideal for she has a wide vibrato that ages her voice terribly. Macal makes the most of the situation, directing with a restraint that many younger colleagues could learn from.

The sound is clear, with a wide soundstage although there is plenty of evidence of the presence of the audience; they were clearly as unimpressed as I am!

Not recommended.

Copyright © 2009 John Broggio and

Review by sperlsco February 12, 2007 (8 of 9 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
In short, this is a spectacular M4 from Macal/Czech PO on Exton!!

I ordered the M4 Macal/Czech PO SACD from HMV.JP. I have a fairly good track record with Mahler SACD releases on the Exton label, but of course, most of them feature the great Czech PO. This one, however, strikes me as being quite an exceptional M4. The playing is incredibly transparent and there is an amazing amount of clarity. The conducting is equally fine. There is a phenomenal amount of detail that stands out, but the conducting never seems the least bit fussy. The dynamics ebb and flow naturally and the tempos are remarkably flexible. The tam-tam in the first movement can be clearly heard during the build-up to and at the climax. My only very minor complaint is that the timpani seem recessed on rare occasion. The adagio is quite beautiful and has a tremendous and transcendent climax.

Overall timings are on the moderate side – IIRC they are fairly close to the Levi M4. Unlike the Levi M4, it does not feature Bea Arthur in the finale (or perhaps Levi has Frederica von Stade, I forget :-) ) Speaking of the soloist, Michaela Kaune is quite good. She has a very innocent voice and is quite comfortable singing the part. Her first line sounds a little strange and she uses just a tad too much vibrato here and there, but it is hardly worth complaining. The sound is probably the best that I have heard from an Exton SACD – very open, with a huge and deep soundstage (I own perhaps half-a-dozen of Exton SACD’s). The soloist’s voice has a real you-are-there presence to it.

I also like the MTT M4, but would easily make this my top choice in M4 multi-channel SACD's.

Was this review helpful to you?  yes | no

Works: 1  

Gustav Mahler - Symphony No. 4 in G major