Symphony No. 7 in E minor ("Song of the Night")
For the first installment of the Mahler Edition on CAvi-music, Adam Fischer leads a live performance of the "Symphony No. 7 in E minor," assembled from different concerts in late November 2015. Perhaps the oddest of Mahler's symphonies in its structure and quirky mix of vernacular styles, the piece has been unofficially nicknamed "The Song of the Night," due to its dark first movement, its two Nachtmusiken, and the shadowy Scherzo at its center; only the bright and bumptious Rondo-Finale alleviates the pervasive nocturnal feeling. A conductor less attentive to formal considerations might let this symphony drift into a series of eccentric episodes or pseudo-tone poems, but Fischer maintains a clear sense of momentum through the five movements and firmly keeps the symphony on its "from dusk till dawn" trajectory. The Düsseldorf Symphony plays with skill and precision, keeping together without any signs of fatigue and playing with the commitment and passionate intensity of the world's great Mahler orchestras. This may be a curious way to begin a Mahler cycle, but this "Seventh" is an excellent indicator of great things to come.