How to Build a Classical CD Collection

12. Mahler: Symphony No. 4 in G major

The Austrian composer Gustav Mahler has come to occupy a dominant international position in the later part of the 20th century, not least through the advocacy in the United States of Leonard Bernstein. Everywhere a stranger, a Bohemian in Austria, an Austrian in Germany and a Jew throughout the world, his expressed predicament seems to reflect that of the contemporary artist. One of the greatest conductors of his time, Mahler completed nine symphonies in some of which he was able to combine a development of the German art of song. The fourth of his symphonies, relatively short at something less than an hour, has a final movement of song in splendid settings of words from the romantic collection of poems, Des Knaben Wunderhorn (The Boy's Magic Horn).

Recommended recording
Mahler: Symphony No. 4 in G major, with the soprano Lynda Russell and the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra under Antoni Wit. Naxos 8.550527

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