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Reviews: Mahler: Symphony No. 3 - Zander

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Reviews: 3

Review by Compression Must Die March 29, 2004 (0 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
From the outset, let me say that this is my first foray into Mahler's works. I'm a "classic" classical music fan, preferring Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, and Bach, and even then primarily violin or piano concertos as opposed to large bodies of work.

The music (to my taste) is a bit dark, forward, and foreboding, but then again that's likely the intent of the composer. Not really my cup of tea, I guess.

It is not a stretch to say that the performance level and sonics are excellent. To anyone looking for light or relaxing classical music (as opposed to heavily involving darker classical), you might look elsewhere. To anyone who is a fan of this composer or this genre, I would have no problem giving a positive recommendation.

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Review by thepilot August 29, 2004 (1 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Yes, this is the real thing. Mahler's third is not supposed to be easy listening and this is what you get in Zander's splendid rendition. I haven't heard Tilson Thomas new recording with MTT (always a good Mahler conductor), but I cannot imagine a better recording and performance than this one. Now, Telarc where is that Zander's Mahler Second and Tenth, we are all waiting for?

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Review by peteyspambucket September 22, 2004 (2 of 7 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
On the suggestion of other members of these boards, I have purchased this recording. It is with some surprise and regret that I report that I find this Zander interpretation to be bland and unexciting.

With overall faster tempi, the performance seems to generate an artificial excitement. However, the playing and ensemble lack idiomatic phrasing. The character of the interpretation seems to have been conceived of and played as a bad Brahms symphony, rendering boredom. It was very difficult for me to stay focused while listening to this recording, which is why this review has had such a long gestation period from when I purchased it.

Sonically, given that this was a DSD recording from Telarc, I am surprised that the sonics aren't better. I don't like the distance from which the orchestra has been recorded. I prefer somewhat closer microphone placement.

The Chailly is still the best I have heard on SACD. Interpretively, the MTT is somewhere at the bottom, near the Zander. Even the Boulez/VPO effort seems to have more character than these two. I still think Bernstein managed to squeeze every emotional drop out of the symphony, but that's still only on RBCD.

For now, don't fight the urge to buy the Chailly, as you will be rewarded greatly for that choice.

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