The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is steadfastly progressing with its Mahler cycle under the direction of its chief conductor Mariss Jansons. Following the releases of the First, Second, Fifth and Sixth Symphonies, the orchestra now turns its attention to the Third Symphony. Jansons and his Amsterdam-based orchestra performed the Symphonies Nos. 2, 3 and 8 in the 2009–11 seasons as part of the full, chronological series of performances given by the Concertgebouw Orchestra of Gustav Mahler’s symphonies to commemorate his 150th birthday and the 100th anniversary of his death. The series is being performed under the direction of various conductors. Jansons stands out in these performances with an astonishing ear for the minutest of details. Jansons possesses the ability to integrate all into the virtually infinite overarching climaxes that can make listening to Mahler’s symphonies such an exciting experience.
“Everything about the shape, pacing and grandeur of Mr. Jansons’s account suggested that he and his players took Mahler’s grand design to heart. While individual details may seem beside the point, it was hard not to be awed by the solidity of the horn playing in the expansive, exposed line that introduces the work. And the shapely offstage posthorn solos in the third movement, to say nothing of the solo string and woodwind lines that emerge throughout the score, provided an appealing counterweight to the high-impact full ensemble playing. The strings, particularly in Mr. Jansons’s plangent reading of the finale, were rich-toned and supple, qualities matched by the remarkably focused woodwind and brass sections. And given Mahler’s penchant for explosive climactic writing (as often in midmovement as in his endings), the ensemble’s percussionists were in their element.” New York Times
Symphony #3 In D Minor: Kräftig, Entschieden (Der Sommer Marschiert Ein)
Symphony #3 in D Minor: II. Tempo di Menuetto: Sehr mäßig
Symphony #3 in D Minor: III. Comodo. Scherzando. Ohne Hast
Symphony #3 in D Minor: IV. Sehr langsam. Misterioso. Durchaus ppp: 'O Mensch! Gib Acht!'
Symphony #3 in D Minor: V. Lustig im Tempo und keck im Ausdruck: 'Es sungen drei Engel'
Symphony #3 in D Minor: VI. Langsam. Ruhevoll. Empfunden
“Tuning and ensemble are close to ideal throughout, the brass playing, particularly from the horns, is a continuous joy, the strings are lush and opulent, and the woodwind solos are all distinctive...What makes Jansons' reading distinctive is the rubato he introduces into the second and third movements...The orchestra are on top form, and the superior audio works to everybody's benefit.”
29th May 2011
“for sheer magic of recording technique this RCO issue takes some beating. Jansons demands a pianissimo that’s almost inaudible but such is the quality of the recording that every note is clear. The ferocity of parts of the first movement is complemented by the hushed rapture of the Adagio. The mezzo soloist is the marvellous Bernarda Fink, and the three choirs help make this an outstanding interpretatation.”
2nd June 2011
“The opening movement is an epic in itself, and Jansons leads a magnificent performance of it; spacious and mysterious and yet taut...Bernarda Fink is tremendous”
“Quiet dynamic marking are scrupulously heeded, lending a Humperdinckian charm to its revels and linking the symphony to the German Wald, the lost world of magic and unreality...The Wunderhorn allusions in the third movement (to donkeys and asses of all species) are deliciously pointed, gracefully eliding their sardonic textual commentary.”
4th August 2011
“No orchestra has a greater Mahler pedigree than the Concertgebouw...In terms of sound and playing, this version of the Third Symphony, from concerts last year under the orchestra's current chief, Mariss Jansons, is as good as any...With Jansons, everything is just a bit too well manicured: every phrase perfectly weighted, every texture polished until it gleams.”
“Jansons is a fine guide to this elemental score and this is an account to stand alongside previous Concertgebouw readings: a richly rewarding listen.”
“there's much to admire about the sophisticated Concertgebouw colouration, and how well it words in the fabulous hall as recorded here. You know you're in good company as the eight horns bellow into resonant space at the start. Muted trumpets cut like a knife.”
“the RCO brass and string majesty remains a thing of wonder. Bernarda Fink brings real gravitas and weight to the Nietzsche text and, with the finale on the horizon, Jansons keeps it simple: let the music do the work; clear contours, deftly articulated.”
Click here for alternative recordings of this work.