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Mahler: Symphony No. 3 / Ruckert-Lieder / Kindertotenlieder

4.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 27, 1999
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Movement I. Kraftig. Entschieden
  2. Langsam. Schwer
  3. Tempo I
  4. A tempo
  5. Immer dasselbe Tempo (Marsch). Nicht eilen
  6. Im alten Marschtempo (Allegro moderato)
  7. Tempo I
  8. Movement II. Tempo di Menuetto. Sehr mäßig
  9. A tempo
  10. Ganz plötzlich gemächlich. Tempo di menuetto
  11. Movement III. Comodo. Scherzando. Ohne Hast
  12. Wieder sehr gemächlich, wie zu Anfang
  13. Etwas zurückhaltend - Sehr gemächlich
  14. Tempo I. Mit geheimnisvolles Hast!
  15. Wieder sehr gemächlich, beinahe langsam
  16. Movement IV. Sehr langsam. Misterioso. Durchaus ppp ("O Mensch! Gib acht!")
  17. Più mosso subito
  18. Lustig im Tempo und keck im Ausdruck ("Es sungen drei Engel")

Disc: 2

  1. Langsam. Ruhevoll. Empfunden
  2. Nicht mehr so breit
  3. Tempo I. Ruhevoll!
  4. A tempo (Etwas bewegter)
  5. Tempo I
  6. Langsam. Tempo I
  7. Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen - Leonard Bernstein
  8. Um Mitternacht - Leonard Bernstein
  9. Ich atmet einen linden Duft - Leonard Bernstein
  10. Das irdische Leben from "Des Knaben Wunderhorn" - Leonard Bernstein
  11. Nun will die Sonn so hell aufgehn - Leonard Bernstein
  12. Nun seh ich wohl, warum so dunkle Flammen - Leonard Bernstein
  13. Wenn dein Mütterlein - Leonard Bernstein
  14. Oft denk ich, sie sind nur ausgegangen - Leonard Bernstein
  15. In diesem Wetter - Leonard Bernstein

Product Details

  • Performer: Jennie Tourel, Martha Lipton
  • Orchestra: New York Philharmonic
  • Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
  • Composer: Gustav Mahler
  • Audio CD (July 27, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Alliance
  • Run Time: 145 minutes
  • ASIN: B00000JQGV
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,390 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Bernstein is rightly regarded as the conductor who championed all of Mahler's symphonies in the 1960s when most were unfamiliar to audiences. That so many Mahler symphonies appear each year on every American orchestra's schedule is one of the great, but often overlooked, Bernstein legacies. His recordings of all the Mahler symphonies in the 1960s was an historical landmark, and the lesser-known of the symphonies (such as the 3rd, 6th, and 9th) had the most to gain by their new found exposure at the hands of a master conductor at the top of his form.
The New York Philharmonic musicians in 1961 were probably far less familiar with the long and complicated Mahler's 3rd than they are today. As an apparent result, there are many places throughout the performance where everything doesn't quite line up correctly. There are several key, extended solos in the 3rd symphony---the violin and posthorn (trumpet) solos are outstanding, but the trombone solo suffers from inconsistent intonation (as do the trumpet and horn sections elsewhere).
The orchestra plays quite well throughout---particularly the woodwind section---and Bernstein leads them in a well constructed and often joyous performance. The first movement has a very nice pace to it and an exciting ending. The 3rd movement, however, seems a bit labored and slow, rather than rolling along with the lilting pastoral feeling at its heart. The finale is extremely successful in Bernstein's hands, with a slow and measured pace leading up to a gorgeous climax.
At times Bernstein seeks the broad gesture instead of carefully crafted ensemble work from his musicians. I had very high expectations of this recording when I purchased it, primarily because it has been so favorably mentioned over the years.
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By A Customer on January 19, 2000
Interpretively this is an excellent recording. Bernstein broke a lot of new ground with this release in the 60's. The ensemble is not as good as in Bernstein's second version, but the many of the solos and the general sound of the orchestra are better in this version. One thing that surprised me was two audible coughs, one in the first movement and one in the last. Considering this is a studio recording this is very surprising. Overall, this is a great recording to own, but if you only want one version of this, there are other performances available that are more insightful. check out Bernstein's second recording, Salonen's new recording with the LA Phil, Horenstein's with the London Symphony, or Lopez-Cobos's with the Cincinnati symphony.
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There are numerous fine performances of Mahlers 3rd symphony, to name a few of my favourites:

Kubelik (DG and Audite), Haitink (RCO studio and live), Boulez (DG).

This performance by Bernstein ranks at the top in my opnion

(Which I like best I don't know, probably Kubelik live or Haitink live)

Never did I hear Bernstein give such a natural reading of a Mahler symphony, his spontaneity this time is more subtle, it doesn't interfere with the music or with the natural pulse of the music.

I particuarly am very impressed with the performance of the second and 3rd movement. (my favourite movements of this symphony), the right balance between refinement, subtlety (beauty of tone) and sharper edges, brighter colors.

(The perfect balance between Haitink and Kubelik if you like)

The sound of this recording however isn't that good...
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I own two Mahler symphonic cycles. Well, almost two. First there is James Levine's incomplete four-way with the Philadelphia Orchestra, London Symphony and Chicago Symphony, a set that lacks the Symphonies Nos. 2 and 8. And then there's Leonard Bernstein's first set, with the New York Philharmonic. And yes, depending on the person and their mood, there are other complete cycles that are superior and undoubtedly recordings of individual symphonies that are superior to any in either the Bernstein or the Levine sets -- indeed, Bernstein himself improved on the No. 6 the second time around. Still, I'd maintain that some of the performances on the first Bernstein cycle are true top picks. One is the No. 7, and other is the No. 3, considered here. As another reviewer stated, this performance is natural. It flows so smoothly, unlike (in my view) Bernstein's later version on Deutsche Grammophon. The sound in this vintage recording may not be the best, but I'm willing to take a little extra effort to savor what I hear. I know that many people swear by the legendary Horenstein performance, but somehow I could never get into that recording. I do like the Levine performance with the Chicago Symphony in the set previously mentioned -- it is actually be my runner-up choice, truth to tell, and some days gives the Bernstein a run for its money. I've also occasionally been drawn to the Haitink and Chicago Symphony recording on CSO-Resound, but I suspect that much of that reaction has to do with sonics rather than, perhaps, the interpretation itself. In the end, for Mahler's Third, I always come back to early Bernstein, as I do in the Symphony No. 7. This is a very strong performance, and the addition of the songs is icing on a very gorgeous cake.
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