Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Mahler - Symphony No 3|
Actors: Berlin Philharmonic, Florence Quivar, Tölzer Knabenchor, Ernst-Senff-Chor
Director: Bernard Haitink
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
The Mighty Mahler Third
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 09/30/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One usually shies away from DVD releases of purely symphonic performances: how can watching a static orchestra (with the eventual addition of soloist and choruses) hold our attention for the more than hour and a half long work? Yes, it is interesting to see a conductor communicate with his orchestra and to see the various sections at work, especially when caught with the musical sensitivity of these cameramen. But in the end does the visual detract from the music?
In the case of this splendid performance by Bernard Haitink conducting the Berlin Philharmonic the answer is a resounding NO - it does not detract! It is such a joy to see and hear this extraordinary performance, one that proves Haitink's position as one of the finest of the Mahler conductors. The playing by the BPO is sumptuous and rich and exactingly correct. Haitink brings out all the boisterous gaudiness of the march into Summer of the first movement and yet allows himself and his orchestra to caress the following tender moments with equal finesse.
One truly magnificent aspect of this recording is the presence of mezzo-soprano Florence Quivar as the soloist. Hers is a voice of burnished gold and her plangent understanding of the text of 'O Mensch' is among the finest on recording. The Tölzer Knabenchor and Women of Ernst-Senff-Chor are likewise first rate and the balance when these several forces combine with the orchestra is perfect. Yet it is the closing movement of the symphony 'Langsam. Ruhevoll' that places this performance in the ranks of the finest.
This is a recording for the ages and one that deserves all of the attention focused on it by very competent engineers. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, September 06"
Mahler Reconquers Berlin
Joseph L. Ponessa | Glendive MT USA | 07/04/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bernard Haitink recorded a complete Mahler cycle with the Concertgebouw Orchestra back in the 1960s. He thus is one of the figures responsible for the postwar Mahler revival, along with Bernstein and others. Of course, that Amsterdam orchestra was intimately connected with Mahler from the beginning. Mahler himself conducted them on more than one occasion, and Willem Mengelberg conducted them in the first complete Mahler symphonic cycle in May of 1920.
Haitink and the Concertgebouw Orchestra made a video of Mahler's Third in 1983 which was released on laserdisc in Japan. It is a wonderful recording, taking full advantages of the wonderful house acoustics. This DVD release is a later, December 1990 recording with the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Tölzer Knabenchor, Women of Ernst-Senff-Chor and Florence Quivar at the Philharmonie in Berlin, also released on laserdisc in Japan. The BPO had just hired Claudio Abbado as successor to Karajan a year before, and their first performance together had been a marvelous Mahler First. So Haitink's Berlin cycle, several other performances appearing simultaneously on DVD, are part of a kind of belated Mahler revival in Berlin in the post-Karajan era. Berlin had had its own long-lost connections with Mahler, for the BPO had performed the premiere of Mahler's Second in 1895. With these performances, Mahler reconquered Berlin, and Haitink joined with Abbado in overseeing the process. God bless them for it."
A "John the Baptist"-like voice crying out to mankind
Mr John Haueisen | WORTHINGTON, OHIO United States | 01/13/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"At this writing there have been two very positive reviews of Haitink's performance of Mahler's Sym. 3.
I will second these recommendations and provide a few of my personal observations to perhaps help explain why I think you will find this such an enjoyable performance:
During the performance, the close-ups are well-planned, and give us a chance to see Mahler's diverse, birdlike chirpings, especially in the first movement and the beginning of the third movement, where the "cuckoo is dead" refrain bounces from oboe to clarinet to piccolo.
Florence Quivar's voice combines a haunting, almost supernatural sound with perfect enunciation--a "John the Baptist"-like voice crying out to mankind.
The final movement is so resolved, so ultimately at peace. Those old enough to remember the ultimate showman, pianist Liberace, will recognize his signature tune, the once popular song, "I'll be Seeing You." An example of pop music with classical roots, the song was taken from the final movement of Mahler's Third.
Liberace started out as an unsuccessful classical musician. He later achieved worldwide fame, wearing extravagant, eye-catching, opulent outfits which complemented his title as "Mr. Showmanship." Yet, remembering his dearly-loved classical music, he always delighted whenever someone in his audiences recognized his themesong as coming from Mahler's Third symphony.
Mahler's Third is certainly a unique piece of music, for Mahler himself said that he was attempting nothing less than to embrace the entire universe in music. This performance does indeed fulfill Mahler's design, beginning with soft sounds, which Bernard Haitink continuously suppresses to even more quietness, until a Liberace-like resplendently triumphant finale.
As Leonardo da Vinci said, "Oh you wretched mortals--open your eyes (and ears!). Really, this is a performance you will enjoy again and again."
Musically great; technically not so much.
Ronald D. Foster | Brush, CO United States | 05/14/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have been adding dvd performances to my cd collection mostly for the vastly superior sound. Watching it performed is an extra bennie. Mahlers' 3rd is one of my favorites of all his symphonies because it has so many bright spots, especially the childrens choir. Abbados' performances are my benchmark for superlative sound and stunning hi def picture. Unfortunately, Haitniks' sound and picture don't quite make the cut. Even updated to DTS 5.1 it seems a little muddy and the picture has not been updated to amamorphic 16:9. I'll wait for Abaddos' version."