Thursday, December 20, 2012

Mahler - Symphony No. 3

The Holy Grail (or the Holy Unicorn in this case). Find more insanely expensive used copies here. This is a Mahler 3 well worth knowing, and take a look at that album cover... it fits the music.

One of my favorite parts of this symphony is the slow finale. Jascha Horenstein brings it across really well, as did Michael Tilson Thomas in a later decade with the same orchestra. This is a hard symphony to take in all at once, but the individual moments add up to something memorable. The choral part in the fifth movement is all Christmas-sounding. The fourth movement is existentially sad, and those middle movements sound like German mountain music. The opening movement is massive and bipolar, but the two sides of it come together in an orgiastic coda. Whatever that means to you, enjoy.

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Happy solstice and turning of the year to you!


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