Mahler: Symphony No. 7

Mahler: Symphony No. 7

5.0 1
by Michael Tilson Thomas
     
 
Perhaps the most peculiar of Mahler's symphonies -- yet also the most distinctly Mahlerian, for that very reason -- the Seventh Symphony is a wild ride for the orchestra and the audience alike. From the marches of the opening movement through nocturnal serenades and a spectral Scherzo to a delirious comic Finale, Mahler pushes musical coherence almost to the breaking

Overview

Perhaps the most peculiar of Mahler's symphonies -- yet also the most distinctly Mahlerian, for that very reason -- the Seventh Symphony is a wild ride for the orchestra and the audience alike. From the marches of the opening movement through nocturnal serenades and a spectral Scherzo to a delirious comic Finale, Mahler pushes musical coherence almost to the breaking point. But each new idea is so beguiling and cloaked in such inventively poetic sonorities that it's easy for a listener to be swept along in the symphony's current. It's a bit trickier for the musicians themselves -- not to mention the conductor, who needs to find a balance between sincerity, irony, gravity, and vulgarity -- but Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony can communicate the ambiguous charm of the Seventh more effectively than any other American orchestra today. Tilson Thomas revels in all the music's extremes -- not just the frenzy of the accelerating Finale but also the delicacy of the fourth movement's "night music," for example, tinted gently by mandolin and guitar. Details like these are well placed, both musically and sonically, whether it's a distant cowbell or a pungent chord blasted by the bassoons, and there's also a sense of realistic concert-hall perspective that results from the live concert recording. This Seventh is a superb addition to the orchestra's self-released Mahler series, which, as it nears completion, looks to be a classic cycle for the 21st century.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
Beautifully shaped, wonderfully colored, powerfully dramatic, and lovingly lyrical, Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony's recording of Mahler's "Seventh Symphony" is not as only as good or better than the previous seven recordings in their Mahler cycle, it is as good or better than most of the "Sevenths" recorded in the past 20 years. Tilson Thomas has grown into one of America's most skilled and dedicated Mahler conductors, and his understanding of the composer's greatnesses as well as his weaknesses makes him one of the most sympathetic. Tilson Thomas understands not only Mahler's joy -- listen to the glowing climax of the opening movement's development -- but his fear -- listen to the terrifying return of the opening section of the Scherzo -- not only his tenderness -- listen to the close of the Andante amoroso -- but his humor -- listen to the opening of the Rondo-Finale. Best of all, Tilson Thomas understands his moments of real weakness, understands that the blissful climax of the opening movement takes a mighty long time to arrive, and that the humor of the Rondo-Finale is at best slapstick farce and that it, too, goes on for a mighty long time. But Tilson Thomas understands it all, and, as the French and the Buddhists say, to understand all is to forgive all. With the suave and polished playing of the San Francisco, he has created a "Seventh" as persuasive in its way as the strenuous Horenstein, the sensual de Waart, or the glorious Kubelík. The sound of the San Francisco's self-produced recording is warm, clear, and open.
Gramophone - Andrew Farach-Colton
It's in the Finale that [this] new recording wins out, not just for its gleaming brilliance but for its exuberant mischievousness.
BBC Music Magazine - David Nice
If you’ve been following MTT’s cycle, you certainly won’t be disappointed by this latest and supernaturally beautiful-sounding release.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/11/2005
Label:
Sfs Media
UPC:
0821936000922
catalogNumber:
9
Rank:
79433

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Symphony No. 7 in E minor ("Song of the Night")  - Gustav Mahler  - Michael Tilson Thomas  -  San Francisco Symphony  - Alan Trugman

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Mahler: Symphony No. 7 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago