HD-Vinyls 24/192 (Decca) Gustav Mahler – Symphony No. 3 (Solti)

front-small-boxset Many thanks to Jean-Luc for another Mahler/Solti masterpiece
The Third Symphony is Mahler’s hymn to the natural world and his longest work. It was largely composed in the summer of 1895 after an exhausting and troubling period that pitched him into feverish creative activity. Bruno Walter visited him at that time and as Mahler met him off the ferry Walter looked up at the spectacular alpine vistas around him only to be told: “No use looking up there, that’s all been composed by me.” Mahler was inspired by the grandeur around him at the very deepest level of feeling and also by visions of Pan and Dionysus. In fact by a sense of every natural creative force in the universe infusing him into “one great hymn to the glory of every aspect of creation”, or, as Deryck Cooke put it: “a concept of existence in its totality.”

Composer: Gustav Mahler
Performer: Helen Watts

Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Sir Georg Solti
Vinyl (1968)
Number of Discs: 2
Format: Flac
Label: Decca
DR-Analysis: DR 13
Size: 3:34 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FileFactory


To deliver a convincing performance of the Third I believe the conductor must do two things before anything else. Firstly, in spite of the fact that the work falls into Mahler’s “anthologising” strand, along with Das Klagende Lied, the Second and Eighth Symphonies, the overriding structural imperative linking the six movements must be a pattern of ascending steps based loosely on the evolutionary ladder within broadly-based Pantheistic cosmology. In these terms the six movements are:

1] Inorganic nature summoned into life by Pan, characterised as summer after winter
2] Plant and vegetable life
3] Animal life
4] Human life represented as spiritual darkness
5] Heavenly life represented as childish innocence which, when combined with 5, brings
6] God expressed as, and through, Love.

Mahler’s original titles for these movements were:
1] “Summer Marches in”
2] “What the Meadow Flowers tell me
3] “What the Creatures of the Forest Tell Me”
4] “What Night Tells Me”
5] “What the Morning Bells Tell Me”
6] “What God Tells Me”

The conductor who fails to see this “ladder of ascent” and make it manifest is one who makes the mistake of concentrating too hard on getting the first and last movements right and neglects the movements in between, treating them as interludes rather than steps on the journey to perfection fashioned out of the world around and beyond. The first movement must also retain a degree of independence since Mahler designates it Part I with the remaining movements Part II. This leads to the second thing I believe the conductor must do and that is render the seemingly disparate elements of the first movement into a rigorously-wrought whole when the nature of its thirty-five minutes sets it on course for structural failure. There must be no doubt on the part of the conductor as to the movement’s greatness and this includes an awareness of, and an ability to bring out, the rougher edges woven into it. Any attempt to “prettify” or “smooth out” the first movement leads ultimately to a blunting of its special power and so to failure. It’s a hard thing to quantify but it’s something you know is there at a deep level at certain “way points” and in the way you can give in to its atmosphere, hallucinatory qualities and lack of doubt in itself. I think it’s also true that a conductor’s confidence in the rightness of Mahler’s vision in the first movement stands him in good stead for the rest. Those conductors who get the first aspect right tend to get the second right, and are therefore, for me, the greatest interpreters of this symphony.

It is very hard many decades after a first performance to try to gauge the effect a piece of music first had on its early audiences. When something has become so familiar, loved, venerated even, to try to imagine “the shock of the new” that must have seized people at the time is a tall order. But it is an idea we should try to bear in mind if we can and so should the performer. When Mahler wrote his Third Symphony he was a young man wanting to make a very big noise in the world, to try to shake people out of complacency. In the first movement it has always seemed to me that Mahler was saying to his audience, to use modern slang, “Eat my score!” and any performance of the piece that falls short of giving an impression of that attitude is just not trying hard enough. Or at least is trying too hard to be accepted in now more polite circles. So I think it takes a particular kind of conductor to turn in a great Mahler Third. No place for the tentative or the sophisticated, particularly in the first movement which will dominate how the rest of the symphony comes to sound no matter how good the rest is. No place for apologies in that first movement especially. The lighter and lyrical passages will largely take care of themselves. It’s the “dirty end” of the music – low brass and percussion, shrieking woodwinds, growling basses, flatulent trombone solos – that the conductor must really immerse himself in. A regrettable trait of musical “political correctness” seems to have crept into more recent performances and recordings and that is to be deplored. The edges need to be sharp, the drama challenging, Mahler’s gestalt shrieking, marching, surging, seething and, at key moments, hitting the proverbial fan.


Symphony No. 3 In D Minor
A 1st Mov. Kräftig 28:12
B1 1st Mov. Kräftig (Conclusion) 4:36
B2 2nd Mov. Tempo di Menuetto 10:15
C1 3rd Mov. Comodo 17:20
C2 4th Mov. Sehr Langsam – Misterioso 9:30
D1 5th Mov. Lustig Im Tempo Und Keck Im Ausdruck 4:16
D2 6th Mov. Langsam 19:10


Analyzed folder: /192k Mahler – Symphony No. 3 – Solti
DR Peak RMS Filename
DR14 -0.80 dB -20.18 dB A Symphony No. 3 In D Minor – 1st mov. Kraeftig.aif
DR12 -0.82 dB -16.86 dB B1 Symphony No. 3 In D Minor – 1st mov. Kraeftig (Conclusion).aif
DR15 -3.90 dB -24.94 dB B2 Symphony No. 3 In D Minor – 2nd Mov. Tempo di Menuetto.aif
DR15 -1.31 dB -23.06 dB C1 Symphony No. 3 In D Minor – 3rd Mov. Comodo.aif
DR14 -9.19 dB -29.23 dB C2 Symphony No. 3 In D Minor – 4th Mov. Sehr Langsam – Misterioso.aif
DR11 -2.34 dB -17.78 dB D1 Symphony No. 3 In D Minor – 5th Mov. Lustig Im Tempo Und Keck Im Ausdruck.aif
DR14 -0.43 dB -20.34 dB D2 Symphony No. 3 In D Minor – 6th Mov. Langsam.aif
Number of files: 7
Official DR value: DR13


  • Choir – The Ambrosian Singers, Wandsworth School Boys’ Choir
  • Composed By – Gustav Mahler
  • Conductor – Georg Solti
  • Directed By [Ambrozijski Zbor] – John McCarthy
  • Directed By [Boys From Wandsworth School] – Russell Burgess
  • Orchestra – The London Symphony Orchestra
  • Vocals [Contralto] – Helen Watts

Ripping Info


If You hear some clicks and pops here and there, Who cares?
Id rather have a few light anomalies instead of destroying the music.
Enjoy the music, not the ticks & pops.
My rips are almost rough rips.

  • Software: iZotope RX 4 Advanced, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Super light de-clicking with iZotope, significant clicks manually removing, no de-noising
  • DR-Analisys before converting to Flac
  • Converting Wave -> Flac: Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Artwork: Sony Alpha 350, Epson Perfection V750 Pro, Photoshop CS 5.5

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25 thoughts on “HD-Vinyls 24/192 (Decca) Gustav Mahler – Symphony No. 3 (Solti)

  1. Sorry to ask it here, but do you guys know a website as boxset, but only for Jazz lovers, with HQ vinyl rip in 24-96/192 (no cd, nor 16-44) ?
    Thanks you very much 🙂

    • Hi musichunter,

      I have gathered a bunch of jazz vinyl rips, but they were from a few different torrent trackers. I don’t recall one particular site devoted to jazz vinyl rips, but it may be worth a Google search.

      If you name some of the artists you are interested in I would be happy to share what I have from the Amazon cloud. Duke, Miles, Coltrane, Bill Evans, Cannonball, Sonny Rollins and Art Blakey TJM are represented heavily. Of the singers I have some Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra.


    • I post other music on another blog….rock, blues, jazz and much more…and there are many other rippers, who post also every genre of music, among them many jazz rips.
      PM me if you want to be introduced there.

  2. Jean-Luc, you and Alf are about to convert me to Mahler in the Symphonic realm.
    I grew up in the Haydn/Mozart/Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Dvorak syndrome that more 20th Century stuff sounded so dissonant to me so as to be unpleasant.

    Alf got me plugged into Bruckner whom I did not know, and now Mahler appeals to me as well.

    Thanks to you both for helping me evolve into a broader schema of symphonic sound.


      • I’m very grateful Jean Luc.
        This is a colossal piece of music. And Solti and the CSO did phenomenally well on it. Is this the 1971 recording from Vienna?
        I guess I need more instruction on Mahler’s sense of melody as compared with Brahms/Dvorak, et al.
        As is obvious I an not a university trained Music Appreciation student, though I did take a two year course in Music theory which focused on Bach as the exemplar of the early foundations of classical music. It focused a lot on Bach Chorales. The Prof was a fanatic of Mengelburg who I later learned was quite a Mahler scholar, and conducted the Concertgebouw Orch.
        We heard a lot of the 1939 St. Matthew Passion. Oh well, I’m a day late and a dollar short.

        Thanks again for your input. And thanks to Alf for the Solti/CSO Mahler 8th.

  3. @Isaiah
    Thank you very much for your help.
    I will try on torrent so. I already found some nice rips on torrent, but it would be easyier to simply download from a website as boxset.
    Thank you again, much appreciated 🙂

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