Gustav Mahler: Symphony No.4
Thanks to his unusually strong affinity with Haydn and grasp of classical structures, Josef Krips proves a near-ideal conductor for the Fourth Symphony. Noting Mahler’s repeated ‘nicht eilen’ (‘don’t rush’) markings, Krips never hurries the music or indulges in unnecessary point-making, least of all in the radiant variations of the poco adagio third movement. The score unfolds with natural charm and warmth, lovingly communicated by the LSO’s string section – led by Hugh Maguire, whose ‘Death the Fiddler’ is gauged at just the right level of grotesquery. With Suzanne Danco a pristine soloist in the finale, childlike but never childish, this is a beautifully-judged performance of a work which can too easily sound overstated, faux-naif or both.