Mahler: Symphony No 3 in D minor

Reviewed on Mon 17 Apr, 2017

The posthorn solo during the third movement is especially magical – sensitively engaged and as if from a mountain top – while the Nietzsche and Wunderhorn settings are respectively profound and sparkling.

The opening horn unison arrests and promises much, Mahler’s Third delivered with the long view typical of Bernard Haitink. He doesn’t sensationalise the music – that quality already present in the spring-awakening opening movement (sensibly alone on the first disc) for which Haitink’s integrated approach pays many dividends, although some may prefer greater abandon at times and feel that winter doldrums have not been shaken off sufficiently. The remaining five movements, naturalistic and divine, receive superior outings – poetic, eloquent, picturesque, as agile and athletic as required. The posthorn solo during the third movement is especially magical – sensitively engaged and as if from a mountain top – while the Nietzsche and Wunderhorn settings are respectively profound and sparkling, first-class singing from Gerhild Romberger and then the boys and ladies. The final movement, slow, is heavenly, conducted and played from the heart. As ever from Bavarian Radio, the orchestra and the sound are exemplary.
–Colin Anderson