New York Philharmonic/Martha Lipton/H.Ross/L.Bernstein
The Third was among the first and most successful of Bernstein’s Mahler recordings. Leonard Bernstein’s reading is refreshingly unmannered and free from overstatement. There is no lack of drama or tension in the long first movement. Martha Lipton is occasionally a shade under the note in the fourth movement, but her voice has excellent quality and she sings with great feeling. The singing of the boys’ choir in the fifth movement is fresh and vigorous. The long and heavenly Adagio (Finale), drawn out to the incredible 25 min. with searing intensity and great attention to details, is the crowning achievement of Bernstein’s art. All the more remarkable because it was his only second time performing the symphony!