MAHLER: Symphony No.3 – BBC Music Magazine Recording of the Year, 2018

Bernard Haitink conducts:  Gustav Mahler: Symphonie No. 3
BBC Music Magazine Recording of the Year 2018 & Winner of Orchestral Award, 2018 

(Live-Recording: Munich, Philharmonie im Gasteig, 15. – 17.06.2016)
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks

Gerhild Romberger, mezzo soprano
Augsburger Domsingknaben
Frauenchor des Bayerischen Rundfunks

BR Klassik 2cds 900149 @ £17.50*

BBC Music Magazine, Orchestral Winner, 2018 & Recording of the Year, 2018 “….this bird’s-eye view, the longest I know on disc, offers a revelatory perspective, illuminated in every second by incandescent orchestral textures and a breath taking dynamic range. The flowers of the fields and the beasts of the forest are if anything sprightlier than ever before; there’s great mystery in the low string rockings and the expressive colours of mezzo Gerhild Romberger in the setting of Nietzsche’s ‘Midnight Song’. The final Adagio was always essential Haitink: and here it is – unforced, inward at first, blazing at the climaxes. For a recording to accompany a study of the score, you simply couldn’t do better.”

Gramophone While the performance feels most engaged when the music is in repose, the inner movements are more than adequately eloquent. The excellent posthorn solos in the third are credited to Martin Angerer…Gerhild Romberger has an old-fashioned contralto-ish timbre in the Nietzsche setting…the choirs sound lovely in the fifth movement and the finale has always been a Haitink speciality, plainly spoke and all the more moving for it. “

About the CD

Gustav Mahler’s Third Symphony still ranks today as one of the greatest and most powerful creations of the Late Romantic period. The huge symphony, longer and more monumental than the others and containing texts from the collection of poems by Clemens Brentano and Achim von Arnim entitled “Des Knaben Wunderhorn”, was composed over a period of four years from 1892 to 1896, and especially during the summers of 1895 and 1896, which Mahler spent at the Attersee in Austria. Following performances of several individual movements of the symphony, the complete work was premiered on June 9, 1902, at the 38th “Tonkünstler Festival” in Krefeld. Mahler conducted the Städtische Kapelle Krefeld and Cologne’s Gürzenich Orchestra at this exciting event. It was one of his greatest successes, and his contemporaries were deeply impressed. Between 1902 and 1907, the composer conducted his Third Symphony a further 15 times.

Of the six powerful movements, the slow fourth one requires not only a large orchestra but also a mezzo-soprano solo for a setting of the “Midnight Song” (“O Man! Take heed!”) from Friedrich Nietzsche’s poetical-philosophical “Thus Spoke Zarathustra,” while in the cheerful fifth movement the mezzo-soprano soloist is joined by a children’s choir and a female chorus for the song Es sungen drei Engel from “Des Knaben Wunderhorn”. The symphony is a huge challenge for all its performers, and this concert recording of June 2016 has a prestigious line-up: guest conductor Bernard Haitink with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, the Augsburger Domsingknaben and the Frauenchor des Bayerischen Rundfunks; the solo parts are sung by Gerhild Romberger.

Exciting live atmosphere.
Recording of very recent Munich concerts on June 16 and 17, 2016.
The Symphonieorchester des Bayerische Rundfunks is conducted by Bernard Haitink, and accompanies soloistGerhild Romberger, the Augsburger Domsingknaben and the Frauenchor des Bayerischen Rundfunks.

BR Klassik 2cds 900149

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