"This recording of the Third Symphony by Gustav Mahler is without a doubt fantastic."Luister, 09-11-2018
Reflections on the 3rd Symphony By Adam Fischer
Mahler’s entire output seems like one long farewell to me: it is as if he was bidding farewell to the past and likewise to the future, since he had a great fear of death. At the end of his symphonies we often encounter utopias, as here in the Adagio of the Third, and many years later, particularly, in the Ninth.
Something new sets in, but the movement is still a closure. From it we learn that whatever is new will no longer occur in this world. The Third Symphony, on the whole, is one of Mahler’s richest: the individual movements are so different from one another that they almost seem to stem from different periods of Mahler’s life. The Third contains its own world in itself – already in the first movement, longer than most Beethoven symphonies.
Then Mahler plunges into the Wunderhorn world: the world of simplicity, where his style seems inspired by Schubert. He quotes from his own works and creates his own mythology. Just as in a grand novel, the same figures appear in different stories. The second and third movements belong together; then, a new dimension is introduced in the fourth one with the human voice. With the contralto’s first note, Mahler truly opens up a new world. This is a new kind of composition altogether. The measures almost seem to flow into one another; Mahler is freeing himself from the rigors of rhythmic bars. In the score we find corresponding instructions: “In flowing movement, without paying heed to meter”, and: “Conduct the underlying rhythm”. In the latter passage, one would normally have to conduct a rhythm of seven against four: here it is difficult to do so exactly.
The result is a dilemma: the musicians expect a precise gesture – and certain conductors indeed subdivide the rhythm as indicated by Mahler. But I find it preferable to adopt the metric scheme as a mere framework. Played exactly, the passage loses its artistic meaning: liberation from chains. This abandonment of the rigorous diktat of meter represents a challenge for every conductor. (Excerpt of the Adam Fischer’s remarks)
At the beginning of the 2015/16 season, Adam Fischer was appointed Principal Conductor of the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker and Artistic Consultant of the Düsseldorf Tonhalle. He is also Honorary Conductor of the Austrian-Hungarian Haydn Orchestra, founder of the Eisenstadt Haydn Festival, and founder and director of the Wagner Festival in Budapest. Well-known for his courageous political commitment, Adam Fischer has spoken out often in favor of human rights. Together with András Schiff he initiated and signed a petition against racism and discrimination, which they submitted to the European Union.
Born in 1949 in Budapest, Adam Fischer studied composition and conducting in the Hungarian capital, and with professor Hans Swarowsky in Vienna.
After appointments as Kapellmeister in Helsinki, in Karlsruhe and at Munich State Opera, Fischer held the post of General Music Director successively at the opera houses of Freiburg, Kassel and Mannheim, and was also Music Director of Hungarian State Opera in Budapest. Since 1999 he has been Chief Conductor of the Danish National Chamber Orchestra in Copenhagen. Regular engagements have led Adam Fischer to perform in the great opera houses of Europe and the US, including Vienna, Milan, Munich, Covent Garden, the New York Met and Bayreuth Festival. In orchestra appearances he also conducts the Vienna Philharmonic, the Vienna Symphony, the Munich Philharmonic, the Orchestre de Paris, the London Philharmonic (LPO), the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Chicago and Boston Symphonies and the NHK Symphony in Tokyo.
Fischer’s award-winning CD releases include the complete symphonic works of Haydn (distinguished with the German national prize “Echo Klassik”) as well as of Mozart. He has also been awarded the Grand Prix du Disque twice: for his recordings of Die Königin von Saba (Goldmark) and of Bluebeard’s Castle (Bartók). In 2017, Adam Fischer was named Honorary Member of Vienna State Opera.
The Düsseldorf Municipal Music Society (Städtischer Musikverein) is celebrating its 200th birthday in the 2017/2018 season. A performance in Düsseldorf of Haydn’s oratorio The Creation in 1818 marked the beginning of the Düsseldorf Music Festival, directed alternatively by Johannes Schornstein (Düsseldorf) and Friedrich August Burgmüller (Wuppertal).
In 1833, Felix Mendelssohn directed the 15th Düsseldorf Music Festival when he was only 24 years old. Later on, the Municipal Music Society appointed Robert Schumann as Festival Director for the years 1850 to 1854. In 1864, the orchestra musicians acquired the status of municipal employees; they chose the name “Düsseldorfer Symphoniker” for themselves in 1960. In the course of two centuries, the 90 women and 40 men who make up the Musikverein choir have continued to uphold the venerable tradition of a lay choir singing on a professional level. For instance, the choir members of the Musikverein stood already on the podium of the Alte Tonhalle for the Düsseldorf premiere of Mahler’s 3rd Symphony in 1928 under the baton of Municipal Music Director Hans Weisbach.
Marieddy Rossetto has been Chief Conductor of the Städtischer Musikverein choir since 2001. Born in São Paulo, she studied piano at Santos Conservatory and Brasilia University before going on to study orchestral and choir conducting at Cologne Musikhochschule. Her artistic career began in Brazil and continued in Wuppertal before she came to Düsseldorf. Marieddy Rossetto is committed to music education through SingPause, an initiative in local music schools.
Anna Larsson obtained her music diploma at the University College of Opera in Stockholm, her home town. In 1992 she met the British breathing and vocal coach Anna Sims, with whom she continues to work until today. Anna Larsson sang her opera début in 1996 in Carl Unander-Scharin‘s Tokfursten/ The King of Fools at Vadstena Castle. She went on to draw major international attention in her performance of Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony (No. 2) with the Berlin Philharmonic and Claudio Abbado in 1997.
With her rich, velvety, flowing voice, Anna Larson has made herself a worldwide reputation in the role of Erda in Wagner’s Ring cycle, with performances in the opera houses of Berlin, Vienna, Salzburg, Aix-en-Provence, and Milan. She has also covered the roles of Waltraute, Orphée, Fricka, Dalilah and Zia Principessa in venues such as Stockholm Royal Opera, Bavarian State Opera (Munich), the Palau des Arts (Valencia), and Finnish National Opera, along with the festivals in Salzburg and Aix-en-Provence, collaborating with conductors including Daniel Barenboim, Zubin Mehta, Christoph von Dohnányi, and Kent Nagano. In January 2011 she sang her début as Kundry (Parsifal) at the Théâtre de La Monnaie in Brussels.
As a concert vocalist she has collaborated with some of the world’s greatest orchestras, including the Berlin, Vienna, New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics, the Chicago Symphony, the LSO, and the LPO. Anna Larson masters practically all the classical repertoire for contralto and orchestra, and has especially made herself a name as an interpreter of Mahler. She also loves to sing Lieder, going regularly tour with internationally renowned pianists in vocal programmes featuring a wide range of German, British and Scandinavian art song repertoire.
In 2010, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden conferred Anna Larsson the title of Royal Court Singer. In 2011, she inaugurated her own concert hall: the Vattnäs Concert Barn in the village of Vattnäs near Mora in the Swedish province of Dalarna.
During his own time, Gustav Mahler was considered as one of the major conductors of Europe, but nowadays he is considered to a major composer who bridged the Late Romantic period to the modern age.
Few composers are so connected with the symphonic repertory as Gustav Mahler. Composing symphonies was his "core business": in every aspect he developed the symphony towards, and sometimes even over, its absolute limits. Almost all of Mahler's symphonies are lenghty, demand a large orchestra and are particularly great in their expressive qualities. With rustic and mythical atmospheres (the start of the First Symphony), daunting chaos (the end of his Sixth), grand visions (end of his Second), cheerful melodies (opening Fourth), romantic melancholy (the famous adagio of his Fifth), evocations of nature (his Third), megalomanic eruptions in the orchestra (his Eighth), and the clamant atonality of his unfinished Tenth, Mahler's musical palette seemed inexhaustible.
His symphonies are captivating, but some could find it a bit 'over the top' at times. For those, his orchestral songs could undoubtedly show there is an incredibly subtle and refined side to his compositional style as well.
In the Netherlands, Mahler is particularly popular due to its close bond with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, which was already established during his lifetime!
This recording of the Third Symphony by Gustav Mahler is without a doubt fantastic.
Adam Fischer’s account of Mahler’s Third Symphony is outstanding. The music has plenty of atmosphere, it is accurately narrative, and especially the finale is glowing with magical moments that give the whole symphony a visionary strength and, thus, the character of a great mystery.