- Symphony No. 3 in D minor
Even though Heinz Rögner's recording of Gustav Mahler's "Symphony No. 3 in D minor" with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra dates from 1983 and has obvious limitations in the ADD transfer, the performance is robust enough to make up for its age and minor audio deficiencies. As an affordable alternative to the major labels' releases, this Berlin Classics double-disc delivers Mahler's longest symphony with good sound, striking instrumental colors, and remarkable depth, and the performers convincingly carry the music across, even though they may not be among the most famous interpreters of Mahler. Rögner displays a good grasp of the work's form and trajectory, so there's never a feeling of disconnectedness between the movements; furthermore, it's evident he took great pains in highlighting details and focusing on his players' distinctive timbres, so this is a fine recording for studying the score. This performance also boasts some attractive singing: in the fourth movement, alto Jadwiga Rappé conveys a profound sense of mystery and world-weariness, and the Berlin Radio Children's Choir and women of the Berlin Radio Symphony Chorus balance this with their joyous bell-like singing in the fifth movement. Overall, this rendition is quite enjoyable, and with the exception of some intonation problems (the oboe soloist's bent tones in the fourth movement are really annoying) and the limited sound quality, this package is sufficiently good for listening when better choices are unavailable.