MAHLER: Symphony No. 4 in G
ELGAR: Symphony No. 1 in A flaty, Op. 55. Cockaigne Overture, Op. 40
CHESKY: "JOY AND SORROW"
Mahler's Symphony No. 4 has had a long history with the Concertgebouw Orchestra. Ever since their historic live recording with Willem Mengelberg in 1939 performance. Since that time many conductors have recorded it with the Anmsterdam orchestra: Van Beinum, Solti, Haitink, Riccardo Chailly.and rom a recent Mahler Festival, a video from April 2010 with Iván Fischer and soprano Mian Persson included in the RCOA LLIVE set of Mahler symphonies. Mariss Jansons, music Director if the orchestra 2002-2915, has two live recording of Symphony No. 4, the first (with soprano Anna Prohaska) is included in the big RCOA LIVE set of live performances by Jansons during his tenure. Now we have a second performance, this from February 2015, with Dorothea Röchman as an ideal soloist. This is first-class in every way, with excellent audio—a distinguished addition to the Dutch orchestra's discography
This disk of music of David Chesky is another example of his versatility in combining jazz, folk music of various countries, and Hebrew influences. Called Joy and Sorrow, most of the music reflects the former, a delightful series of lively dances and interludes centered mainly on the Violin Concerto. In this he instructs the soloist to play it like a gypsy. The Sorrow is represented by Wiener Psalm written in memory of Gabe Wiener featuring a rather plaintive text sung by a bass and chorus. Hebrew text of Psalm 38 os heard in cantorial Klezmer style. This is not a multi-chennel recording, it is "binaural." The Chesky binaural recordings are made with two special microphones adjusted to represent "ears" of a listener, so that each microphone "hears" what that ear would. These recordings are meant to be listened to on stereo headphones for maximum realism but they are just as effective on stereo speakers. The reader on my playback unit indicates this is a stereo recording. When heard on speakers, the sound is realistic to say the least and it does sound as if the microphones were right in the center of the orchestra. An intriguing disk, indeed!, y Ub
This past May this site mentioned a superb recording of Elgar's Symphony No. 2 with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra directed by Sakari Oramo; more information about this conductor and orchestra can be found in that (REVIEW). This performance of Symphony No. 1 is of equal power, and this recording has a richer resonance that is to the advantage of the music. The delightful Cockaigne Overture is given a performance of equal merit, and this, in particular, is a sonic showcase. The BIS engineers have done their usual top-quality engineering job.This well-filled disk is surely one of the finest Elgar SACDs available.
R.E.B. (December 2015)