MAHLER: Symphony No. 3 cond. by Zubin Mehta

by | Jun 1, 2005 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments

MAHLER: Symphony No. 3 in D-minor – Bavarian State Orchestra/
Zubin Mehta, conductor/Marjana Lipovsek,Alto/ Wiener Sangerknaben/
Frauenchor des Wiener Singverein – FARAO classics Multichannel SACD (2
discs) 5-106-047 ****:

If burnished means polished to a high degree of luster, that indeed
describes the Bavarian State Orchestra . Working regularly as the “pit”
orchestra of the Bavarian State Opera, this ensemble toured Europe in
the Fall of 2004 with  conductor, Zubin Mehta. The final concerts
took place in the “lion’s den”, den Grosen Saal des Wiener
Musikvereins, home of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

 Mehta has a history of noteable Mahler performances dating from
his music making with the LA and NY Philharmonics from 1968-1991. His
Mahler readings have characteristically  integrated  musical
architecture, the symphonic movements becoming  a whole greater
than the sum of its parts. This live performance by the Bavarian State
Orchestra of the Mahler Third displays an organic “wholeness” suffused
with a lean delicacy of sound and phrasing which is chamber music like.
The dynamic range of this performance is startling. Mehta achieves an
idealized Mahlerian sound from his players.To perform Mahler within the
home of The Vienna Philharmonic and to attain a preformance of such
beauty and sublety is extraordinary.

The “Nature Symphony” as the Mahler Third has been called, is scored
for large orchestra, alto,women’s chorus and, in the fifth movement,
children’s chorus. Marjana Lipovsek is the fine alto soloist; the women
and children of the Vienna Singverein and Sangerknaben sing
beautifully.But in truth, the orchestra and Zubin Mehta are the heroes
of this performance.The Bavarian winds and brass are resplendent, while
the string playing is wonderfully responsive to the Mahler idiom.This
is a transcendent performance captured  with mid- Musikverein hall
ambience by the Farao multi channel recording. If you are familiar with
the Mahler 3rd, this recording will galvanize you. If you don’t know
the work and require historical notes, try the  Bernstein NY
Phil.Sony recording or Benjamin Zander’s Telarc recording as 
reference.THEN listen many times to this recording . You will be in
touch with, “What the Universe Tells Me”, the essence of this symphony
so cohesively communicated by The Bavarian State Orchestra  with
Zubin Mehta.

Enthusiastically recommended
— Ronald Legum

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