Hilde Halvorsrød // Ofo/Jansons: Mahler - Symphony NO. 3 in d minor - NABOK055

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Mahler's Third Symphony was chief conductor Mariss Jansons' last recording with the Oslo Philharmonic. It is released on Simax and consists of a live recording of Janson's last season-opening concert, on 24 August 2001, after he had been with the orchestra since 1979. In June 2002, it was irrevocably over – Jansons conducted his last concert with the orchestra in the prestigious Musikverein in Vienna. As you know, he never came back. Thus, this record immortalizes the culmination of over two decades of intense collaboration, adventurous progress and massive international recognition.

Mariss Janson's importance to the Oslo Philharmonic can hardly be overstated. As a young and unestablished conductor, he led them from a more or less anonymous existence
as a provincial orchestra in a small country, to international star status and rightful comparison with the largest European orchestras. The record releases were central to this development. The most important thing was of course that the orchestra reached a sky-high musical level, but without the disc recordings the world would not have known about it.

This latest recording has nevertheless gone under the radar internationally, as it was not released until 18 years after it was recorded - for the Oslo Philharmonic's 100th anniversary in 2019. And that's a shame, because the few Norwegian reviews that did come are undividedly enthusiastic : Mahler's third symphony is the Oslo Philharmonic and Janson's på hjöden - a worthy end to a brilliant international recording career.

The book examines the recording in more detail both aesthetically and historically. It goes into the music itself and asks what is special about this particular interpretation. But it also goes into the recording conditions and examines how it all went on this symbolic day in the Oslo Concert Hall.

Hilde Halvorsrød is a musicologist, critic, writer and subject editor for music at Scenekunst.no. She is currently completing a doctorate in music at the Norwegian Academy of Music. Hilde was awarded the prize for Critic of the Year 2020/2021.

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