Iván Fischer

Mahler: Symphony No. 3

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As Iván Fischer approaches the completion of his live Mahler cycle with the Budapest Festival Orchestra on Channel Classics, he unexpectedly jumps backward to one of the early symphonies, the Symphony No. 3 in D minor. Fischer is known to take his time studying scores and absorbing them thoroughly before committing to making a recording, so he appears to have waited for more than a decade for something in this work to develop and lead to a fuller understanding. The Symphony No. 3 is Mahler's longest symphony, based in part on material he had used in his song cycle Des Knaben Wunderhorn, so it is challenging in terms of balancing its unusual six-movement form and interpreting its content. That Fischer has achieved unity and clarity in his interpretation is evident in this lucid performance, which is deeply compelling for its dramatic contrasts and moving in its glorious evocation of the spiritual in nature. This 2017 audiophile release features contralto Gerhild Romberger in the somber fourth-movement setting of the "Midnight Song," taken from Friedrich Nietzche's Also sprach Zarathustra, and she is joined by the Cantemus Children's Choir and the Bavarian Radio Choir in the joyous fifth movement, which is a setting of the Wunderhorn song "Es sungen drei Engel einen süßen Gesang." Yet the purely orchestral Finale is one of Mahler's most sublime movements, and the Budapest Festival Orchestra plays with a warm radiance that brings this symphony to its inspiring conclusion.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Mahler: Symphony No. 3
1 33:12
blue highlight denotes track pick