Mahler's Third Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall Reviewed: November 17 Edo de Waart and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra continued their Mahler symphony cycle with a performance of the lengthy, cosmos-embracing Symphony No3. Four short inner movements bridge two monolithic outer ones, each with a specific focus. What the flowers of the meadow tell me enjoyed unusually refined violin sounds, both rustic and rapturous, and Jonathan Clarke's off-stage posthorn solo in What the beasts of the forest tell me was also deftly controlled, the pity being that the hall's geography couldn't effect a more distant bloom on the sound. Mezzo-soprano Nancy Maultsby's rich tone and persuasive delivery reflected well the weighty atmosphere of What man tells me, but was frustrated by poor pitching in the horns - about the only questionable moment of the evening. The combined sounds of Maultsby (right), the Hong Kong Children's Choir and the Women of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Chorus achieved a wonderful blend of unforced sound in What the angels tell me, gently leading the audience into the finale, What love tells me. The strings bear the pressure here, having to maintain momentum between climaxes, but their soft-edged phrasing and textural clarity were equal to the task. However, it was the opening movement (Pan awakes - Summer marches in) that proved to be an experience to be remembered, and not just for the overwhelming waves of sound (the rafters shook at times). Jarod Vermette's brilliant trombone solos; stunning balance in the low brass; unblemished woodwind tuning, even when decibels rang high; de Waart's exemplary control of speed, plus his sophisticated shaping of material that can sound twee and skittish - all this lay behind the quiet gasps that peppered the silence after the final chord.