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SACD Review

Gustav Mahler

Symphony #3 in D minor

Mihoko Fujirama, alto
Women and Children's Bamberg Choruses
Bamberg Symphony Orchestra/Jonthan Nott
Tudor SACD 7170 2SACDs Hybrid Multichannel 104m DDD
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Jonthan Nott's Mahler symphony cycle has already had quite a few plaudits especially after the fine 2nd and 9th and this Third is no exception. Nott's measured approach pays huge dividends especially in the richly expansive opening movement which flows along quite magically. Comparisons with Mehta or Nagano (Farao and Warner) are instructive but I would still plump for Nott in the circumstances.

With the first disc given over completely to the First Movement, the second includes the rest of the symphony which at just over 105 minutes is the longest ever Mahler wrote. Nott sets a judicious tempo for the Tempo di Menutto while the Scherzando is also judiciously played by the Bamberg players who really bring a quality string sheen to the music. Finally there's the "Ruhevoll", the concluding movement which fairly grows in almost unbearable intensity and is the real high point of the symphony, at least for me.

Tudor's notes are extremely detailed and make for some fascinating reading and as always the booklet is wonderfully presented. Those who are collecting Nott's cycle should obviously not hesitate and newcomers to this symphony are also urged to try this disc out.

Copyright © 2011, Gerald Fenech