Notes and Editorial Reviews
This performance, originally released in 1993 on the Intercord label, stands as the highpoint in Michael Gielen's excellent, and still ongoing Mahler cycle. Gielen captures the music's Mahlerian essence, with all its cultivated rawness, and projects it through the stylistically attuned playing of the SWR Baden-Baden orchestra. By focusing on the critical elements of rhythm and pulse, Gielen makes the sprawling first movement refreshingly cohesive without sacrificing any of its disjointed, dualistic character. Indeed, Gielen delights in the music's quirks, with brass playing (especially the all important trombones) at once swaggering and sonorous.
Gielen's careful consideration
of Mahler's orchestral coloring delineates the shifting and shadowy moods of Nachtmusik I, while elucidating the subtly varied timbres of Nachtmusik II, here taken at a blissfully flowing pace. The scherzo receives one of its finest performances on disc -- deliciously macabre, with vividly caterwauling winds that almost make you want to throw your shoe at the clarinets.
Gielen looks the discursive finale squarely in the eye, and unashamedly revels in the movement's blazing euphony and formal excesses (the SWR's spectacular woodwind playing deserves special mention here), bringing the symphony home to a joyfully clangorous close. The well balanced, tonally rich and dynamic recording sounds freshly minted in Hänssler's new mastering. Bernstein's recordings remain essential for their uncanny realization of Mahler's most profound idiosyncrasies, but Gielen's masterful evocation joins a very select group of top-flight Mahler Sevenths. Indispensable!
--Victor Carr Jr., ClassicsToday.com Read less
Works on This Recording
Symphony no 7 in E minor by Gustav Mahler
Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Written: 1904-1905; Vienna, Austria
Date of Recording: 04/1993
Venue: Hans Rosbaud Studio, Baden-Baden
Length: 79 Minutes 25 Secs.
Symphony No. 7 in E minor: I. Langsam - Allegro risoluto, ma non troppo
Symphony No. 7 in E minor: II. Nachtmusik I - Allegro moderato
Symphony No. 7 in E minor: III. Scherzo. Schatternhaft
Symphony No. 7 in E minor: IV. Nachtmusik II - Andante amoroso
Symphony No. 7 in E minor: V. Rondo - Finale
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