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With Mahler’s Third, a Highpoint in Our History

In 1924, the Minnesota Orchestra—or the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, as it was then known—issued its first recording. While the ensemble has recorded about 450 works since, the release of its most recent disc marks a highpoint in of the most celebrated eras in its recording history.

On June 7, the Orchestra and BIS Records release Gustav Mahler’s Third Symphony. This latest album concludes the Orchestra’s eight-year-long efforts under Conductor Laureate Osmo Vänskä to perform and record all ten of the Romantic composer’s symphonies.

An excerpt from the Orchestra’s November 2022 performance of Mahler’s Third Symphony, conducted by Osmo Vänskä.

Mahler was famously quoted as saying, “A symphony must be like the world. It must contain everything.” He meant that with his Third Symphony, which is his longest, clocking in at just over 100 minutes.

Across its six movements, the symphony travels far and wide, embracing pastoral landscapes, the poetry of Friedrich Nietzsche, a fable from a German folklore, the jubilation of children and a glorious conclusion that conveys a sort of love letter to Beethoven. (Got all that?) To help realize these many dimensions, the Orchestra was joined onstage by singers from the Minnesota Chorale, Minnesota Boychoir and mezzo soloist Jennifer Johnston.

Listen Now

A note for the Mahler superfans: alongside the single Third Symphony album, BIS Records is releasing a full box set of the Orchestra’s complete Mahler cycle. The set includes 15 hours of music, representing the largest-scale project by a single composer that the ensemble has undertaken.

From Spotify to Apple Music, Mahler’s Third Symphony is available on most major streaming platforms.



Find Mahler’s Third—and the full box set—through the Orchestra’s shop.