Jascha Horenstein & The London Philharmonic Orchestra – Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 (1971)

I don’t know where my interest in classical music came from, but one has to assume that it has somehow stemmed from the orchestral involvement in some metal music; either that or film soundtracks. I don’t collect or own many film soundtracks, but I guess that we are all subject to a lot of classical music without really noticing that we are listening to it as it plays along to some of our favourite movies, tv shows or even cartoons.

Alongside the usual classical canon given to newbies, I was recommended Mahler as he plays “heavier”, more involving classical music than than the usual violins and trumpets shit. I don’t know the correct terms so forgive my common tongue (ha ha), as I am no more than a sheer novice when it comes to the world of classical (and no doubt shall I remain at this stage; the air of elitism and pomposity within this genre is second only to the art scene).  I began with a kindly donated copy of Mahler’s 6th, which is a lot more twisty-turney and full-on than this somehow calmer and more typical-classic 4th symphony.

I won’t write much about 6 here because that will have a post all to itself, but 4 is slightly disappointing for me as it lacks the sheer madness of the 6th that i loved so much; what I hear here (ha) is well made classical music, but it fails to challenge me. No doubt it is intricately composed and a nightmare to play (conductor Jascha Horenstein worked himself into the grave conducting Mahler’s work), but it holds none of the excitement for me that 6 did. Nevertheless, I will continue to hunt down Mahler’s symphonies on 12″, as they do sound rather splendid. Yes yes, very good. A glass of port, good sir?