This Symphony No. 4 in G from Mahler (1860-1911) quickly became popular; the diatonic style and lucid construction proved a good recipe for public success. The work is in G, the cheerfully neutral, not to say naive, key of folk-songs. On this tonal foundation, which could not have been less Romantic, Mahler unfolded an undifferentiated blue sky.. only occasionally is it obscured and becomes eerily frightening; yet it is not the sky itself which is overcast, it is just we who suddenly shudder, as one is frequently seized with the fit of panic on the clearest day in the forest streaming with light. The first movement begins as if it cannot count to three, but then it goes straight into the great multiplication table and in the end we are counting dizzily in millions upon millions. Mahler’s words refer to the progressively more complex structure of this movement as it grows from these modest seeds. The orchestra dispenses with trombones and tuba, four flutes, three oboes, three clarinets and three bassoons are set against four horns, three trumpets, the five string sections and a variety of percussion.