Mahler: Symphony No. 4 & Schnabel: Lieder from Op. 11 & Op. 14 Rachel Harnisch, MythenEnsembleOrchestral & Graziella Contratto

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Label: Claves Records

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Vocal

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  • Gustav Mahler (1860 - 1911): Symphony No. 4:
  • 1Symphony No. 4: I. Bedächtig, nicht eilen (Arrangement for Soprano and Ensemble by Klaus Simon)17:03
  • 2Symphony No. 4: II. In gemächlicher Bewegung. Ohne Hast (Arrangement for Soprano and Ensemble by Klaus Simon)10:05
  • 3Symphony No. 4: III. Ruhevoll (Arrangement for Soprano and Ensemble by Klaus Simon)21:08
  • 4Symphony No. 4: IV. Sehr behaglich (Aus: Des Knaben Wunderhorn: Das himmlische Leben) (Arrangement for Soprano and Ensemble by Klaus Simon)10:51
  • Artur Schnabel (1882 - 1951):
  • 5Dann, Op. 11 No. 2 (Arrangement for Soprano and Ensemble by Graziella Contratto)02:59
  • 6Marienlied, Op. 11 No. 4 (Arrangement for Soprano and Ensemble by Graziella Contratto)01:55
  • 7Sieh mein Kind, ich gehe, Op. 11 No. 7 (Arrangement for Soprano and Ensemble by Graziella Contratto)01:33
  • 8Abendlandschaft, Op. 14 No. 14 (Arrangement for Soprano and Ensemble by Graziella Contratto)02:05
  • 9Heisst es, viel Dich bitten ?, Op. 14 No. 16 (Arrangement for Soprano and Ensemble by Graziella Contratto)01:48
  • Total Runtime01:09:27

Info for Mahler: Symphony No. 4 & Schnabel: Lieder from Op. 11 & Op. 14

Since the memorial concert for Artur Schnabel that took place in my hometown of Schwyz in 2009, which we shall return to later, the MythenEnsembleOrchestra has been regularly performing the chamber version of Mahler’s Fourth Symphony under my musical direction: at festivals, in museum concerts or in private venues. Consisting of freelance chamber musicians and soloists from various Swiss symphony orchestras, the ensemble functions like a small republic of art in which each individual musician has a clear say.

This approach seemed ideally suited to the music of Mahler and its manner of transforming the individual orchestral voices into characters, sound metaphors and voices of the people. From a historical perspective, we felt indebted to the tradition of the Society for Private Musical Performances founded in 1918 in association with Arnold Schönberg’s composition classes. Due to the inflationary economic conditions at the time, the music enthusiasts of the Vienna Circle could not afford full symphonies and had to rely on specially arranged, cheaper chamber renditions in private settings. In the ingenious chamber version by Klaus Simon from 2007, the symphonic scoring of Mahler’s work is similarly limited to just 14 instruments with a solo soprano.

The arranger manages to reproduce the full colour spectrum of Mahler’s orchestration with a modest woodwind section, one horn, a string quintet, piano, accordion and two percussionists. As interpreters we were presented with the delightful task of sensitively sounding out and shaping redistributed motifs and unexpected sound patterns in the newly formed score – A huge pleasure for all 14 soloists and the Swiss soprano Rachel Harnisch!

"Supersonic ! Graziella Contratto’s account of Mahler’s Fourth in the transcription of Klaus Simon is exceptionally moving, one of the most disturbing interpretations I have ever heard. Schnabel’s five Lieder are a welcome supplement for this outstanding CD. As the last movement of the symphony they are sung with a well articulating, warm and charismatic voice by Rachel Harnisch." (Remy Franck,

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