One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,928 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider


paid for

3 for 2 Offer

All Forgotten Records Reviews


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets
All Foghorn Reviews

Puertas de Madrid
All EMEC reviews
All EMEC reviews

All Reference Recordings

Eugène Ysaÿe: Violin Discoveries
All Divine Art Reviews

Debussy Complete Preludes



Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom
Ph. 020 8418 0616



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

All Chandos reviews

All Hyperion reviews

All Foghorn reviews

All Troubadisc reviews

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

All Lyrita Reviews


Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month


Donizetti - Le Convenienze ed Inconvenienze Teatrali

Chamber Symphonies 2 & 4

French Cello Concertos






CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples & Downloads

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911)
Symphony No. 3 in D minor (1895) [96:15]
Klaus Tennstedt in conversation with Michael Oliver* [5:44]
Waltraud Meier (mezzo)
Eton College Boys Choir
London Philharmonic Choir
London Philharmonic Orchestra/Klaus Tennstedt
rec. 5 October 1986, Royal Festival Hall, London; *1987, BBC Studios. ADD
ICA CLASSICS ICAC 5033 [59:58 + 42:21]

Experience Classicsonline

Over the last few years a series of live recordings has emerged of Klaus Tennstedt conducting the Mahler symphonies. All have enhanced my appreciation of him as a Mahler interpreter of great stature. EMI led the way in this respect, followed by BBC Legends and then by the LPO’s own label. Without exception these recordings have added a new dimension to his interpretations over and above the considerable achievements of his studio-based complete cycle for EMI. Now ICA Classics add to the ‘live’ Tennstedt canon with this 1986 performance of the Third Symphony.
I’ve heard nearly all the live recordings so far issued - the exceptions being the EMI accounts of the Sixth and Seventh, though I have heard alternative recordings of these symphonies on the LPO and BBC Legends labels respectively. It seems to me that the live readings have an extra degree of electricity as compared with their studio equivalents. Tennstedt set down a studio recording of the Third in October 1979 and it’s interesting to compare the timings.

1979 studio
1986 live

In all honesty the playing times aren’t all that different, other than in the first and last movements - and the track for the sixth movement includes some 30 seconds of applause in the 1986 recording. The basic pulse for Tennstedt’s performance of the finale is marginally broader in 1986 but where differences arise it’s more a question of a slight nudge or easing of the tempo here and there. Differences are only to be expected: as Tennstedt remarks in his conversation with Michael Oliver, which mainly concerns the Sixth Symphony, his conception of each symphony remained “fixed” but his interpretations were never the same. As he put it, Mahler composed life in his music and life is always changing.
The key, however, lies in the last sentence of Michael McManus’s booklet note in which he says of the two recordings of the Third “The track timings may be remarkably similar to those of the studio recording, but there is a heightening of ardour that cold numbers could never capture.”
The huge first movement is delivered with the intensity that one almost invariably finds in a Tennstedt performance, especially of Mahler. The LPO responds to his direction with playing that is acute and alive - the brass section is on superb form while the woodwind playing is deft and characterful. The rhetorical trombone solos, such a key feature of this movement, are powerful and sonorous. In a vast movement such as this, which can sprawl in lesser hands, Tennstedt’s ability to keep the bigger picture in view, while paying proper attention to detail at all times, is vital. The music is tumultuous at times but one never feels that the conductor’s control slips. Incidentally, one small but significant presentational point is that ICA allows a good gap between each of the first four movements; for example there’s just over twenty seconds between the end of the first movement and the start of the next one.
In II Tennstedt displays lightness of touch and obtains a good deal of affectionate playing from the orchestra. He brings out the quirky awkwardness of the music in III, which is expertly pointed. When the post-horn interludes are reached the solo instrument is magically distanced. In these episodes Tennstedt achieves a fine degree of nostalgia without overdoing the sentimentality. Each of these passages is excellent but the final one is particularly hushed and delicate.
Waltraud Meier is an expressive soloist in IV but in the following movement she perhaps overdoes the vibrato a little and her solo passages are too effusive in tone for my taste. On the other hand, the choral singing is delightfully lively and fresh and, where required, the boys produce a robust sound that’s entirely appropriate.
Tennstedt’s account of the finale is noble and spacious. Comparing it with his studio reading one finds that the basic tempo is a fraction slower, though the difference is not significant. The string playing in the opening paragraphs is first class. As the movement progresses

Tennstedt finds the requisite depth of expression but the emotion is never excessive. The conductor’s judgement of pace seems unerring - one is reminded that he was also a fine Bruckner conductor. Tennstedt’s great concentration and inspired playing by the LPO combine in a memorable performance of this eloquent adagio and the final pages (from 19:06) are majestic.
ICA has used a BBC recording under licence and the sound is very good. At the end of the second disc we can hear a short, interesting conversation between Tennstedt and Michael Oliver in which the conductor talks about his approach to Mahler. Though the principal emphasis is on the Sixth symphony what he has to say is of relevance to his way with Mahler in general and it’s well worth hearing.
Once again, hearing Klaus Tennstedt live in Mahler is a rich and rewarding experience. I shan’t be parting with his EMI studio recording but this concert performance now supplants it. Now we only lack live Tennstedt recordings of the Fourth and Ninth symphonies and of Das Lied von der Erde. Let us hope that there are recordings lying in the vaults somewhere and that, if there are, these will see the light of day before too long.
John Quinn








































































Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.