Zdenek Mácal

Mahler: Symphony No. 3

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Once the least performed and recorded of Gustav Mahler's symphonies, due mostly to its taxing length, the Symphony No. 3 in D minor now appears with some regularity on disc and with increasing frequency on SACDs. This recording from Exton, featuring Zdenek Mácal and the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, is remarkable for its spacious sound, close-up details, and wide-frequency range, and the interpretation is on a par with many other first-rate performances, so finding points of distinction between them is perhaps a futile endeavor, especially since only aficionados of this work will detect them. Mácal is certainly attuned to Mahler's extreme mood swings and a unique mix of innocent reverence and sardonic parody, and there is nothing lacking in the CPO's brilliant execution of the score, which displays many extended techniques and an extraordinary palette of tone colors. The subdued but warmly human singing of alto Birgit Remmert in the fourth movement, "O Mensch! Gib acht!," is awe-inspiring in its solemnity, and the combined choruses of the women of the Prague Philharmonic Choir and the Prague Philharmonic Children's Choir add a joyous radiance to the fifth movement Wunderhorn lied, "Es sungen drei Engel." While this polished audiophile recording may not attract fans of historic renditions of the work, it will appeal to most Mahler buffs and to anyone who is open to the charms of this extremely long but highly engaging symphony.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Symphony No. 3 in D minor
blue highlight denotes track pick