15 Jul 2020

VIDEO: NZSO - Mahler Symphony No 3

From Music Alive, 7:30 pm on 15 July 2020

"The symphony must be like the world. It must embrace everything," Mahler once reflected in conversation with Jean Sibelius.

'Symphony No 3' is certainly a portrait of the universe, set with appropriately awesome forces. It is one of Mahler’s longest, expanding across six movements in over 90 minutes. It also involves one of Mahler’s largest ensembles, bringing together a significant orchestra with a women’s chorus, a children’s chorus and also a female soloist. 

The composer perhaps best summed up his ambitions in a letter written to the soprano Anna von Mildenburg:

"Just imagine a work of such magnitude that it actually mirrors the whole world – one is, so to speak, only an instrument played on by the universe… My symphony will be something the like of which the world has never yet heard! … In it the whole of nature finds a voice."

Watch the video again here:


MAHLER: Symphony No 3 in D minor - Charlotte Hellekant (mezzo), NZSO Chorale, Wellington Young Voices, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra conducted by Edo de Waart

Mahler 3 was Edo de Waart’s first concert as Music Director of the NZSO.

Recorded in April 2016 by RNZ Concert

Video by Jeremy Brick


  • Curtain Raiser: Mahler - Symphony No 3
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