Gustav Mahlermay have spent most of his career in Austria, but he was born and bred in Moravia, now the Czech Republic, and the music of that country forms a crucial part of his DNA. That makes a complete symphony cycle by the Czech Philharmonic under Chief Conductor Semyon Bychkov a fascinating prospect. Our Recording of the Month is their first release: Symphony No 4 ( Pentatone PTC5186972 ). Personally, I think it’s one the finest interpretations of the work I’ve ever heard. It is, as Michael Quinn writes in his five-star review, “a thing of sweetly scented, gossamer beauty that weaves the interplay of childhood innocence and adult experience into something altogether sublime”.

On the Record

“Bychkov,” continues Quinn, “is a conductor with an unimpeachable feel for exquisitely proportioned, emotionally acute interpretations who clearly ‘gets’ Mahler in all his contrary multitudes . . . He refuses the bombast others mistake for directness  . . . choosing instead to err on the side of poetry . . . Pentatone’s superbly engineered sound enhances the pleasure of a Mahler Four that...