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Symphony #3 Box set

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 2 2004)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B00018BOL0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #114,031 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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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

Product Description

Mahler: Symphony No. 3

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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 scholar as well. The talk is fascinating and it alone is worth the price of admission .It will guarantee to enhance your listening experience considerably and make you a convert, if you haven't been already.
Perhaps the most self-indulgent of Mahler's symphonies, it "encompasses the whole world" to quote Mahler. It is perhaps
the longest symphony of all and includes everything ,funeral marches , birdcalls, brass fanfares, Austrian military
marches, country dances, angelic choirs etc. The overall effect could be a mish-mash in the hands of any lesser composer
than Mahler, but he manages to bring it off very well and a good performance could be absolutely awe-inspiring.
Zander, with tremendous control over the giant forces this symphony requires, leads an insightful,
powerful, sometimes even shattering and certainly well detailed performance. It is a fascinating symphonic journey from the initial fanfare by six horns in unison to the final apotheosis. He builds up the great Mahlerian climaxes and resolves them very well.He maintains the tension throughout and his pacing is very good so the final effect leaves one breathless. The Philharmonia is in excellent form, in fact their fine instrumentalists (specially the winds) deserve a special mention.
I tend to agree however with another reviewer that Zander, being so in love with the work, that he tends to halt the
progress at times, to smell the roses, so to speak. Haitink with the Berlin Philharmonic, I think, moves at a better clip and this is important for performing such a long work.
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By A Customer on June 14 2004
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 experience with the conductor or the music. However, the opening horn fanfare quickly quelled any other thoughts, and I was held by the throat for the next half-hour of the first disc. This truly is an inspired performance; Zander's close following of the score markings and Mahler's original intent go a long way toward a great musical experience. No other recording that I have listened to has come close to the grandeur and sweep of emotions that Zander's performance possessed. Compliments, also, to the Philharmonia Orchestra, whose brilliant playing clearly establishes them as a great Mahler orchestra. Also of interest are Zander's other Mahler recordings; interestingly, a recording exists with Zander conducting the New England Conservatory Youth Orchestra on Mahler's 5th, which rivals just about any professionally produced recording in terms of intensity and quality of playing. The recording can be downloaded from Zander's website, [...]
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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.
I lean toward the opinion that the Zander version is the best of the three. I am not sure I am either musically articulate enough nor perhaps have heard them enough to point out specific details that would lead me to that view, however.
One thing I think is an incredible feature of Zander's recordings of Mahler's symphonies is the tutorial CD that he includes.
And one specific detail that I am in a quandry about: To me one of the highlights of the 3rd is the posthorn solo in the 3rd movement. On the Bernstein recording it is just slightly on the soft side. On this one, and my recollection is on the Boulez as well, portions of it are so soft that you can barely hear them. I'm not sure whether that is a flaw in the way they recorded the piece, or if the interpretation is that this is a horn in the far distant hills or such and therefore it is just barely audible. But when you can hardly hear it, you can't appreciate its beauty. So I consider the way it comes out on the Bernstein recording to be the preferable way- no matter whether it is less authentic.
So I would consider that one weakness of the recording, but it easily deserves five stars nevertheless.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa739a390) out of 5 stars 13 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7d4b638) out of 5 stars great lecture, very good performance March 17 2011
By Ray Barnes - Published on Amazon.com
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.

In spite of my dissapointment with the first movement (not with the orchestra), this recording, on the strength of its supplementary discussion CD, is recommended with enthusiasm.
15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa72a266c) out of 5 stars A Triumph of the First Order! Dec 3 2005
By Andrew M. Klein - Published on Amazon.com
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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7db3210) out of 5 stars Mahler's 3rd with Listener guide by Michael Steinberg May 22 2011
By aaron shinbein - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
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
15 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa72a29a8) out of 5 stars Not as good as I expected. April 2 2005
By David N. Loesch - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
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. Zander's insights in his hour long lectures included with each symphony are worth the price of the package which is already a bargain. Thanks to Zander, after 30 years of wrestling with the 9th, I finally understand it. The 3rd, however, is a bit off the mark. It isn't by any means a bad performance, but there are better. My favorites are Bernstein with the New York Philharmonic on DGG and Riccardo Chailly with the Concertgebouw on Decca (a knockout performance by any standards.) I also recommend Bernstein or Michael Tilson-Thomas for the 1st and 6th and Bernstein or Claudio Abbado for the 7th.
HASH(0xa72a2bf4) out of 5 stars In a package that offers three discs for the price of one, it’s a hard deal to beat Dec 18 2013
By John J. Puccio - Published on Amazon.com
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. The other exceptions of concern are the huge first movement, which tends to amble along, and the fourth movement, marked Misterioso, which Zander takes considerably slower than Horenstein. As a consequence, Zander’s readings of these sections seem a tad less gripping than they should be, even though he does add perhaps a touch more atmosphere to things. Nevertheless, these are minor issues in a rendition that is otherwise well structured, with a strong command of Mahler’s dynamic and emotional contrasts. As important, the singing is first-rate and that alone should sell the interpretation as much as anything else. Otherwise, some listeners may find Zander’s overall approach subtle and expressive while others may see it as somewhat deliberate.

The huge first movement, almost thirty-four minutes long, takes up the first disc; movements two through six are on the second disc; and Zander’s usual commentary is on the third disc. I didn’t have time to listen to the entirety of the Zander’s comments, but as expected in the part I did listen to the conductor is erudite and informative, and his lecture fascinating to hear. As I say, the whole thing is a hard bargain to overlook.

John J. Puccio
Classical Candor