192kHz/24-bit, FLAC; RCO Live RCO18004 (supplied by www.highresaudio.com)

When he was with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Daniele Gatti made a well-received Conifer CD of this symphony, and now he’s with the Concertgebouw joins a line of principal conductors stretching back to Mengelberg (in 1939) to have recorded Mahler 4. Haitink has done so four times, with a very attractive 2006 version with Christine Schäfer on this same RCO label. Gatti’s soprano here is Julia Kleiter – very naturally balanced with the orchestra (for once). The sleigh-bell outbursts in the finale have surely never been taken as fast as here? But Gatti’s reading vividly brings out all of Mahler’s contradictions – if you think this is a ‘comfortable’ work this will all be a revelation. And it’s full of tiny details – e.g., the oxen in (iv) – brought out in superb engineering from two Nov ’17 performances, with full orchestra filling out the fine acoustic space and with a highly detailed soundstage. CB

Sound Quality: 90%

Hi-Fi News Lab Report

This DXD (352.8kHz) recording employed Merging Technologies ADCs and editing/mixing software. The noise floor is a little high while downsampling to 176.4kHz followed by asymmetric upsampling to 192kHz was probably unnecessary. PM