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  San Francisco Symphony -
  SFS 0045 (2 discs)
  Mahler: Symphony No. 3 - San Francisco/Michael Tilson Thomas
  Mahler: Symphony No. 3, Kindertotenlieder

Michelle DeYoung (mezzo soprano)
San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and Chorus
Michael Tilson Thomas (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:
  Producer: Andreas Neubronner
Balance Engineer: Peter Laenger
Tape Operator: Rita Hermeyer
Editing, Remixing and Mastering: Andreas Neubronner
DSD Recording: Dawn Frank

Recorded live at Davies Symphony Hall
Kindertotenlieder: September 19-23, 2001
Symphony No. 3: September 25-29, 2002

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Reviews: 7 show all

Review by Dr. O August 7, 2005 (6 of 8 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
This Symphony by Mahler is a difficult one to pull off. Here we have expansive first and last movements. The "middle movements" tend to be more conventional, except for the charming 5th movement with it's playful children choirs.

The first movement is powerful. The lines drawn by Mahler and the realization of them by MTT and the SFS are spectacular for both their clarity AND their resolute conviction. The finale offers perhaps the greater challenge. Here the orchestra moves from peaceful mystery to an emphatic affirmation. MTT pulls this off with remarkable skill!

When the score calls for playfullness, MTT and the SFS ARE playful. But here is a symphony that calls for so much more! Mahler seeks to listen to and encompass Nature itself - the flowers and the animals - humanity and the angels - even Love itself - within the lines and notes of the score. And so there is a sublimity here as well.

Mahler's scope is vast in this 3rd Symphony. The listener should be left with a sense of the "unlimited" - and I believe that in this recording this sense has been magically captured. Congrats once again to MTT and the SFS for a job superbly done!

As an added PLUS, the five-movement Kindertotenlieder is included. The mezzo-soprano voice of Michelle DeYoung is extremely expressive, and each movement is lovingly handled by MTT and company.

Winner of the 2004 Grammy for Best Classical Album!

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Review by stvnharr December 2, 2003 (4 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
The Mahler 3rd symphony is such a wonderful piece of music. Through the years I have listened to many different recordings of this symphony, enjoying them all. But this one by MTT and SFO is just superb. The sound is really something else, clearly a few notches above the old cd sound of other recordings. And the sound just sweeps you away for the full 108 minutes. Oh, if only all recorded music could sound so good!!!

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Review by Luukas February 6, 2014 (3 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
Michael Tilson Thomas' Mahler cycle with San Francisco Symphony Orchestra is excellent: I have his recording of Mahler's Second Symphony, and this performance of Third Symphony is outstanding: this SACD got Grammy Award.
First movement's great funeral march is effective. San Francisco Symphony Orchestra plays powerful, and 5.1 multichannel recording sounds very cool. The second movement is also good and gentle: oboe's beautiful melody is sensitive and bright. Third movement's off-stage posthorn solo is stunning and movement's begin is much faster than Gergiev's (LSO Live) or Nott's (Tudor) recordings. Michelle deYoung's soft voice is excellent in symphony fourth movement and third movement's choirs sings beautifully. And, then comes great finale: the nature awakes. Strings beautiful thema is performed quietly (maybe pp (piano pianissimo)), and it grows in great power. Symphony's masterful end sounds very cool: timpani's strikes and orchestra's noisy D major chord sounds very cool in SACD: it surrounds the listener. All in all, outstanding recording and very grand listening experience. I can say that Michael Tilson Thomas' Mahler cycle is the best ever! You see below my personal Top 5 recordings list of Mahler's Third Symphony:
1) Michael Tilson Thomas (Avie)
2) Benjamin Zander (Telarc)
3) Jonathan Nott (Tudor)
4) Leonard Bernstein (DG)
5) Valery Gergiev (LSO Live)

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Works: 2  

Gustav Mahler - Kindertotenlieder
Gustav Mahler - Symphony No. 3 in D minor