At more than 90 minutes, Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 is one of the longest symphonies ever written. In Haitink’s hands it becomes one of the most intense musical experiences imaginable. The natural, unforced sound matches the astonishingly wide dynamic range—particularly in the vast first movement, where peace is threatened by violent and constant brass outbursts, and in the Scherzando, where birdsong abuts marshal fanfares. Mezzo Gerhild Romberger is controlled and poised in the fourth-movement setting of Nietzsche’s “Midnight Song”, while the finale blazes bright in the awesome climaxes. This deservedly won Recording of the Year at the BBC Music Magazine Awards 2018.
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