Review by cherrell September 15, 2012 (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance: Sonics (S):
|Having just recently gotten my hands on this disc, I thought I would put down some thoughts about it.
This is a good performance of one of Mahler's most difficult works. His first movement is a bit on the quick side, coming in at 32:10. The pace works for certain sections, especially the lighter 2nd march that opposes the darker initial march and the southern storm section is quite exciting. For the heavier moments it lacks weight and presence that other orchestras and tad slower tempo can give.
His 2nd movement is nice, again a little quicker. The Czech strings give us a great dark and rustic tone that works so well for this little interlude.
The scherzo is excellent, allowing the amazing Czech winds to show us what they're all about. The low end of the winds, contra bassoon and bass clarinet, must be mentioned as they play with much jocularity and bite. The faster tempo works well for this movement, givings us almost a dance like feel. The end was a bit underpowered for my tastes.
Remmert is one of the better in the O Mensch. She gives us a nice dark tone with a nice weight to it. The orchestra is outstanding here, time almost stops. As it should.
Blim-Bam is portrayed nicely in this recording. The placement of the women's and children's choir is spot on. Placed nicely above the orchestra and to the back. This is a very lively account that prepares us well for the weight of the last movement.
Macal's last movement is very moving and holds together very well UNTIL the last 4 minutes. He let's us down. We should be exalting love but instead he seems to shrug his shoulders. Honeck handles this very well as does Jansons with the RCO. Macal is just to self conscious in this.
Over all this a good recording. There are many better on SACD and RBCD and also many worse. The recording quality is top-notch with good detail and very natural sound. If you are just looking for a Mahler 3 you can do better elsewhere. If you are a collector this would be a happy addition to your family.
I must also say that anytime you can hear the Czech play Mahler, you should. Their sound for Mahler's world is really special. They are also one of the few remaining orchestra's that maintain a 'sound'.
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