Mahler’s 3rd and 4th Symphonies together comprise his longest symphony. Separately the 3rd remains his longest symphony and the 4th his shortest symphony. The 3rd symphony is also the longest symphony in the orchestral repertoire which is also the 10th most popular symphony according to the BBC Music Magazine.
The 3rd symphony consists of 6 movements and describes, to Mahler, what each part of nature tells him of God.
Part 1 of the symphony, which consists of the 1st movement, is described as Pan Awakening, Summer Marching In and What the Mountains Tell Me of God.
Part 2, which consists of movements 2 through 6, are described as:
What the Flowers in the Meadow Tell Me of God
What the Animals in the Forest Tell Me of God
What Man Tells Me of God
What the Angels Tell Me of God and
What Love Tells Me of God
Part 3 of the symphony, “Heavenly Life,” was removed from the 3rd Symphony and was expanded into his 4th Symphony. This allowed expansion on the idea of what life in Heaven was like and also in order to prevent making Symphony No. 3 too long.
However, in an effort to re-create Mahler’s original intent, Classical Music Discoveries has put the symphonies together as one complete symphony and has divided the symphony into its original 3 parts, or acts, so to speak.
This performance is by the CMD German Opera Company of Berlin and conducted by Kenneth Hedgecock.