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Mahler: Symphony No. 3 [Box set]

Gustav Mahler , Benjamin Zander , Philharmonia Orchestra Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Mahler: Symphony No. 3 + Mahler: Symphony No. 9 + Mahler: Symphony No. 5 - Benjamin Zander / Philharmonia Orchestra
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Product Details

  • Performer: Gustav Mahler, Benjamin Zander, Philharmonia Orchestra
  • Audio CD (February 24, 2004)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Telarc
  • ASIN: B00018BOL0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #172,939 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. I. Kraftig Entschieden - Neville Creed
Disc: 2
1. II. Tempo Di Menuetto. Sehr Massig - Neville Creed
2. III. Comodo. Scherzando. Ohne Hast - Neville Creed
3. IV. Sehr Langsam. Misterioso. Durchaus - Neville Creed
4. V. Lustig Im Tempo Und Keck Im Ausdruck - Neville Creed
5. VI. Langsam. Ruhevoll. Empfunden - Neville Creed
Disc: 3
1. Benjamin Zander Discusses Mahler's Third Symphony #1 - Benjamin Zander
2. Benjamin Zander Discusses Mahler's Third Symphony, #2 - Benjamin Zander
3. Benjamin Zander Discusses Mahler's Third Symphony, #3 - Benjamin Zander
4. Benjamin Zander Discusses Mahler's Third Symphony, #4 - Benjamin Zander
5. Benjamin Zander Discusses Mahler's Third Symphony, #5 - Benjamin Zander
6. Benjamin Zander Discusses Mahler's Third Symphony, #6 - Benjamin Zander
See all 7 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great lecture, very good performance March 17, 2011
As usual with the Telarc releases of Maestro Zander with the Philharmonia Orchestra, this includes a CD of commentary, which is the most unusual and enterprising aspect. The commentary, which for once is shorter than the music, is as usual very well presented, insightful and engaging. Zander goes into much detail of the unique features of the orchestral writing, such as using 4 cymbals instead of one, the glissando for the english horn in the 4th movement (achieved by modifying the instrument), and the choice of a posthorn instead of a flugelhorn for the solo in the 3rd movement. It's been noted elsewhere that the solo is not very audible - as it turns out, because it was performed offstage.

I did not find the long first movement completely convincing, it sounded to me like a series of episodes rather than a continuous flow of music. I've read outside of amazon that the rondo finale of Mahler's 5th Symphony suffers from structural weakness and part of the conductor's task is to disguise this problem. I found a similar issue here in the 3rd. The rest of the symphony was in my view wonderful, with fine singing from the soloist and choirs, and a beautiful noble closing adagio, with the tempo in my view judged superbly. If this recording had been offered for less than $15 I would have given it 5 stars based on its overall value. I enjoyed the playing of the 109 musicians in this recording, with really sparkling percussion, and the sound quality was excellent, especially in the bass. The album notes were well written too. There it was mentioned that while playing the final movement, Maestro Zander's baton broke, with some of it flying over the second violins placed (antiphonally) to his right. The performance did not come across to me as being routine or lacking in emotional commitment.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Triumph of the First Order! December 3, 2005
Another impassioned, revealing, and riviting Zander peformance of Mahler. Zander shows us just how the enormously complex parts of this great and very long symphony fit together and interact with each other. Other recordings (I think here of Bernstein and Chailly -- both of whom recorded performances that I also love), to my ear, do not do this. Zander clarifies what others blur. Magnificent throughout, Zander's power as a Mahler conductor is nowhere so evident as in the last three movements, played with increasing drama and tension from the contralto tragedy of the fourth movement through the oddly uplifting and promising children's and women's choruses of the fifth, concluding with the profoundly moving sixth, Mahler's first great Adagio. Here Zander made my hair stand on end -- not easy to do. A complete and utter triumph! Not to be missed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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I am not educated in classical music, so I enjoyed the first disc in the set which discusses Mahler and the 3rd Symph. Will be attending performance today by New Jersey Symphony Orch in New Bunswick. The preparation should make my aftrnoon enjoyable. Even tho the disc set was listed as "used," I heard no defects when listening. thanks
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This is about as enjoyable a performance of Mahler’s Third, his “Nature” Symphony, as any I’ve heard in a long time, and the engineers at Telarc have recorded it as realistically as any around. In a package that offers three discs for the price of one, it’s a hard deal to beat.

I have to admit, though, that beyond the first movement here, I don’t find Mahler’s inspiration as compelling as a lot of other people do. Anyway, the first thing I did after listening to this massive symphony--all six movements and over 100 minutes of it, one of Mahler’s longest works--was to compare it to my one of my favorite interpretations, that of Jascha Horenstein and the London Symphony Orchestra on Unicorn, recorded some thirty years earlier.

Two things struck me: One, the older recording still sounded good. Not as good as the new Telarc, mind you, but well in the ballpark. The Horenstein seemed a tad brighter, slightly less well detailed, and lighter in the bass. The Zander seemed more naturally balanced, with slightly greater depth and impact, and, of course, that famous Telarc low end. But there were times when the top end of the Telarc appeared jarringly out of place, whereas in the same sections the Unicorn was smoother. Still and all, I’d go with the Telarc for ultimate sonic realism.

Second, the Zander reading is nearly the same length as the Horenstein in most of the movements, yet overall it seems marginally slower and in a few sections blander. I suspect this is because to my ears Horenstein puts a fraction more intensity into every phrase and every note. The exception is Zander’s handling of the second movement, which seems more animated than the rest of the performance. The result is just that much more involving than with other conductors.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very musical performance June 9, 2009
I trust that there is not one recording of regardles which musical piece that will satisfy each and every listener. So it is with this version of the third. Perhaps the percussion/timpany in the finale could have been a tad more prominent as on Chailly & RCO (2003; but then: they miss the tam-tam crash that leads into the coda of the first movement), but its better than the very loud (and not always in sync) on Haitink & CSO (2007). The trombonesolo is one of the best doom laden I've heard yet (certainly better than Haitink & RCO 1966, Bernstein & NYP 1988 or Rattle & BPO 1996). The great cymbal clashes in the first movement are very well done (as on Chailly) and nowhere (try for yourself) is the delicate melody by flute, clarinet and oboe (ca. 10 minutes into the finale) played more beautifully that on this recording (the blending and timing of the instruments are absolutely sensational). So for every little wart (and yes, when you listen closely you will undoubtedly find some and if you don't, you just pronounce the interpretation as insufficient and voilà, two or three stars it is), there is also an extra ray of sunshine to counterbalance it. A fine performance, well played and recorded, with a conductor whose understanding of and love for Mahler ooze out of every note (and his educational talk on disc three). No, not 100% perfect, but, thank God, you won't find that anywhere.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine recording and discussion CD makes it especially attractive.
Prompt shipping and safe arrival. This was purchased for a friend who has enjoyed our recording very much. The "lecture" CD that accompanies the performance is very welcome
Published 9 months ago by Jon B. Oakleaf
3.0 out of 5 stars A surprising lack of commitment from Zander
Benjamin Zander has such a big reputation for the Mahler he conducts in Boston that it's dispiriting to hear him at half-power in London. This Third Sym. Read more
Published on February 7, 2009 by Santa Fe Listener
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as I expected.
I am a big fan of Benjamin Zander's Mahler. His 4th is the best I have ever heard, and the 5th, 6th and 9th are highly commendable. Read more
Published on April 2, 2005 by David N. Loesch
2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointment
Benjamin Zander's previous Mahler recordings (nos. 4, 5, 6, and 9) have all been successful. The interpretation of the fifth symphony is probably his best achievement so far, and... Read more
Published on August 16, 2004 by L. Johan
4.0 out of 5 stars Zander's 3rd - a performance worthy of Mahler.
Here is a great bargain for you. Three Cd's for the price of one, including a lecture over 1 ¼ hour long by the conductor, who is not just a great interpreter but a fine Mahler... Read more
Published on July 1, 2004 by Janos Gardonyi
5.0 out of 5 stars Benjamin Zander's Mahler 3
This being my first experience with Benjamin Zander, I didn't know what to expect. I had also never heard a Mahler 3 before, so I went into this recording with absolutely no... Read more
Published on June 14, 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Mahler #3- Zander
I now have 3 versions of Mahler's 3rd, the one in Bernstein's "big box" Mahler cycle of 14 CDs, Boulez', and Zander's. Read more
Published on April 10, 2004 by Lance B. Sjogren
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