While it has become a fashion since the 1990s to include the "Blumine" movement in recordings of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 1 in D major, for which it was originally intended but ultimately discarded, it is most odd to find it paired with the Symphony No. 4 in G major, without real justification. Certainly, it has the naïve quality that Mahler cultivated in his Wunderhorn period, which the Fourth brings to a close, and its pleasant nocturnal mood is akin to the serene ending of the symphony. But "Blumine" is the weakest piece in Mahler's output, and it adds nothing wherever it is placed, whether it is slipped into the First, between the first movement and the scherzo, where it breaks momentum, or used as filler, as it is here, where it detracts from the Fourth's sublime closing affect. Too bad, too, for the performance of the symphony strives to establish that mood, and it is by and large a successful effort. Hartmut Haenchen and the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra play the music with delightful buoyancy, zest, and a spirit of wonderment, and Alexandra Coku's singing in the Finale is radiant and comforting. One might quibble over Haenchen's hurried tempos in spots, or complain that the orchestra's balance is not as even as could be wished, but these are debatable points that shouldn't detract from one's overall enjoyment. Almost the only fault of this recording is the somewhat low sound level, which needs a boost of volume to come across well. But when the right adjustment is found, listen to the symphony to the end, and save "Blumine" for another time, when it won't be a distraction.
4 von 5 Sternen