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Mahler: Symphony No. 3 / Kindertotenlieder [Hybrid SACD - DSD]

Gustav Mahler , Michael Tilson Thomas , San Francisco Symphony , Michelle DeYoung Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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MP3 Music, 11 Songs, 2005 $10.89  
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Frequently Bought Together

Mahler: Symphony No. 3 / Kindertotenlieder + Mahler: Symphony No. 4 in G Major + Mahler: Symphony No. 6 in A minor "Tragic"
Price for all three: $73.23

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Product Details

  • Performer: Michelle DeYoung
  • Orchestra: San Francisco Symphony
  • Conductor: Michael Tilson Thomas
  • Composer: Gustav Mahler
  • Audio CD (November 9, 2004)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Hybrid SACD - DSD
  • Label: San Francisco Symphony
  • ASIN: B00008V6WI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #180,190 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Symphony No. 3 in D minor: Part II. 3. Comodo. Scherzando. Ohne Hast
Disc: 2
1. Symphony No. 3 in D minor: Part II. 4. Sehr langsam. Misterioso
2. Symphony No. 3 in D minor: Part II. 5. Lustig im Tempo und keck im Ausdruck
3. Symphony No. 3 in D minor: Part II. 6. Langsam. Ruhevoll. Empfunden
4. Kindertotenlieder, song cycle for voice & piano (or orchestra): 1. Nun will die Sonn' so hell aufgeh'n
5. Kindertotenlieder, song cycle for voice & piano (or orchestra): 2. Nun seh' ich wohl
6. Kindertotenlieder, song cycle for voice & piano (or orchestra): 4. Oft denk' ich, sie sind nur ausgegangen
7. Kindertotenlieder, song cycle for voice & piano (or orchestra): 5. In diesem Wetter, in diesem Braus

Editorial Reviews

Symphonie n°3 avec contralto, chœur de femmes & chœur d'enfants - Kindertotenlieder / Michelle DeYoung, mez. - Chœur de Garçons du Pacifique - Chœur de Filles de San Francisco - Chœur de Femmes & Orch. Symph. de San Francisco, dir. Michael Tilson Thomas

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but by no means great Mahler November 10, 2006
Format:Audio CD
Michael Tilson Thomas is a phenomenal music director. He inherited the San Francisco Symphony in 1995 and has, since then, turned the band, which was already quite accomplished under Herbert Blomstedt's tutelage, into a world class ensemble in the truest since. Despite its few (but glaring) weakness - bad flutes and violins that tend towards thinness - the San Francisco Symphony boasts consistently fine playing and musically intelligent contributions from the soloists - droll clarinets, boisterous bassoons, a horn section second to none, beautiful lower strings, and rich, big toned lower brass. Listening to this ensemble - an ensemble in the truest sense of the word - is always a joy. Thus, when one hears a performance like this, which, despite first class playing, falls short of being a success, the blame clearly lies at the hands of the conductor.

Objectively looking at Michael Tilson Thomas's ongoing Mahler cycle has been increasingly difficult for me mainly because, the more familiar I become with Thomas's conducting style, the more egregious the apparent faults become. Thomas's penchant for rubato and mannered stylization started off as an interesting, if unnecessary, detail in the 6th and 1st symphonies. It became a bit more problematic in the 2rd. And finally, it became irritatingly obnoxious in the 7th and 5th symphonies. Thomas's insistence on smothering his interpretations with a thick coat of decorative frosting and fussy, mannered detail leaves a fluffy, decadent, at times even saccharine aftertaste which belies the often overwhelmingly high-level of musical nourishment these recordings offer. Indeed, nearly every other musical choice Thomas makes is a good one - it's just a shame he cannot discern between the good and bad.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
For some unknown reason this recording of the Mahler Symphony No. Three has not met with the rather ecstatic responses to his other symphonies in this cycle. But with all the new recordings of Mahler's works flooding the market, it is time to step back and re-evaluate this captured performance. Yes, Tilson Thomas is more seemingly reserved and less rambunctious than in his other portions of the cycle, but the San Francisco Symphony is completely in sync with his sensitive handling of the intertwining themes and never does this long work get out of control. The balance between textures and dynamic levels follows the score faithfully.

But for this listener the glory of this performance is the otherworldly Fourth movement. Mezzo-soprano Michelle De Young is an exemplary Mahler interpreter, and this recording demonstrates her fine technique and sensitivity to the phrasing. Her rich tone is present in the softer passages, as well as in the louder ones, with the color always present, and the voice never strained. Her insightful treatment of the setting of the "Midnight Song" from Nietzsche's Also sprach Zarathustra ("O Mensch! Gib acht!") is quite simply stunning. While a number of fine recordings of this work exist, this particular interpretation stands apart because of the ways in which the thematic ideas emerge with the shape and phrasing that brings out details.

Equally as impressive as the 3rd symphony is a performance of the song cycle Kindertotenlieder, which De Young interprets persuasively. Her elegant phrasing and clear diction bring the poetry forward. The set of songs is compelling for the thoughtful tempos that allow the text to be heard, with the accompaniment serving the strophes of each song well.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Perfect playing but mostly characterless. The brass often plays a sort of loud legato as if trying hard not to insult our ears with different articulations and accents as this music- full of bohemian and Austrian Folk influences- requires. The way several sections in orchestra phrase is not in line with the way the music is written. It is as if "method" had taken over and this is among the most glaring shortcoming an ensemble can have (a disturbing trend that is becoming more and more prevalent today). Compare this performance to Abbado's recording with the Vienna Philharmonic on DGG: you will notice the difference orchestral personality makes as well as a sound and phrasing that makes the music sound like it came from there - which it did. Method is not personality and sometimes one has to play a true staccato or play with abandon to add a little spice. I don't believe MTT is entirely at fault here although one would think he'd have the skill and personality to make the orchestra understand that it doesn't matter if an apple is bright and shiny if the taste is bland. With the SFOs amazing skill it's really only a small step, perhaps it takes someone the likes of Dudamel to shake things up a bit.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
This is the worst Mahler 3rd I've listened to on record. The first three movements---the first half of the symphony, and the entirety of disc 1---are simply lethargic and boring as read here. Tilson Thomas has the San Francisco Symphony amble uncomprehendingly through them as though in a daze, in an unbroken monotone that offers almost no interpretive ebb and flow of tension and expression whatsoever. I can't begin to imagine what he was trying to get at. Every other reading I know of this music has so much more to say: pass this one by and try either of the New York Philharmonic Bernstein recordings, or Solti and Chicago, or Ozawa and Boston, or the L.A. Philharmonic with Salonen, or the Berlin Philharmonic with Abbado... virtually any reading other than this one.

The last third of this symphony is an adagio, and the music comes off better there, as though the score had slowed down to meet Tilson Thomas' languid pace. The Kindertotenlieder are likewise passable. But this is most decidedly a bad record. Look elsewhere.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars I prefer his earlier performance to this one
There is no doubt Tilson Thomas has become one of our leading Mahlerians; however, I'm not as sure his interpretation of the Third Symphony has improved over the years. Read more
Published 16 months ago by John J. Puccio
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, especially the final movement.
Although I am just now getting to listen to more Mahler's music, I was deeply moved by this recording especially in the final movement. I was almost moved to tears.
Published 18 months ago by Justin Hughes
5.0 out of 5 stars Money well spent!
Michael Tilson Thomas has been doing an incredible job with an incredible orchestra.
Next time you have extra cash on hand please take into consideration the Keeping Score... Read more
Published on March 11, 2010 by Mauro Chiappe
3.0 out of 5 stars Lovely, yes, but too polite by half
This is civilized Mahler playing that is so polished, one forgets the universal significance and all-embracing cosmos that is the Third Sym. Read more
Published on February 7, 2009 by Santa Fe Listener
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Reading of a Very Difficult Symphony
Excellent recording.
One of the finer recordings from this MTT cycle (along with Mahler 2) Great sound and musicianship from the San Francisco Symphony. Read more
Published on September 27, 2007 by P. Browne
5.0 out of 5 stars Mahler Symphony #3
CD arrived in New condition. A wonderfully recorded and performed work. Michael Tillson Thomas is one of the world's greatest interpreters of Mahler and the San Francisco... Read more
Published on February 7, 2007 by Peter Searby
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard to beat
I'll admit it. I'm a Bernstein fan, and Bernstein's Mahler cycle on DG, though thoroughly quirky, is difficult to beat. Read more
Published on September 8, 2006 by David Marsden
5.0 out of 5 stars what i have longed to hear
having heard many recordings and the berlin philharmonic play this under claudio abbado, i know what i want to hear in this piece. Read more
Published on August 25, 2005 by J. T. Brown
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