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Mahler: Symphony No. 7 In E Minor ~ Gielen

Gustav Mahler , Michael Gielen , SWR Symphony Orch. Baden-Baden/Freiburg Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Price: $14.78 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: SWR Symphony Orch. Baden-Baden/Freiburg
  • Conductor: Michael Gielen
  • Composer: Gustav Mahler
  • Audio CD (January 22, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Hanssler Classics
  • ASIN: B00005O7SS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #212,694 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Langsam - Allegro risoluto, ma non troppo
2. Nachtmusik I - Allegro moderato
3. Scherzo. Schattenhaft
4. Nachtmusik II - Andante amoroso
5. Rondo - Finale: Tempo 1 (Tempo ordinario) Tempo 2 (Allegro moderato ma energico)

Editorial Reviews

It's hard to understand why Mahler's 7th isn't more popular. It's full of humor, attractive melodies, inventive instrumental and chamber effects, and variants of his marches, peasant dances, and cowbell pastorales, along with thrilling huge climaxes. Michael Tilson Thomas made a fine version and, of course, Bernstein's New York Philharmonic recording is a longstanding favorite. Now Gielen, in the midst of an outstanding Mahler cycle for Hanssler, joins the elite Mahler 7ths with this brilliantly played, well-detailed recording. He has a command of Mahler's large-scale structures along with a way of bringing telling touches to your attention, as in the slapped pizzicato basses in the Scherzo. He also isn't afraid to lean into those typical arching string melodies that lose impact unless played with the rubato effects Gielen applies. And he makes sense of the wild final movement, a riot of conflicting themes and instrumental effects that sometimes sounds like a Charles Ives piece indulging on Viennese strudel. Mahler buffs shouldn't miss this one. --Dan Davis

Product Description

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good! August 13, 2003
Format:Audio CD
This is probably one of the very best of Michael Gielen's highly acclaimed Mahler recordings (now available as a complete set). As is strikingly obvious when listening to his interpretation, Gielen has a "modernist" approach to the work, emphasizing its extreme kaleidoscopic character. His grasp of the third movement is here particularly successful, I think. But all the five movements are convincingly presented, and very detailed as well. This is not only due to the outstanding recording quality and the superb orchestral playing. It is also due to Gielen's analytic but passionate interpretation of the work, which outshines most rivals in the market.

The disc is a must have for all Mahlerite connoisseurs. But it also can be recommended even for those who want just one splendid studio recording of this work.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous! June 18, 2005
By MartinP
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
A virtuoso orchestra, a conductor who stays true to the score, and an exceptionally clear sound recording - those seem to me the essential ingredients of a really, really good Mahler disc. And here the three merge with the greatest felicity. Gielen is a no-nonsense conductor, who nonetheless provides startling surprises in the 80 minutes this symphony takes, simply because he does what Mahler wants. Listen to the very audible FF doubled harp in the second Nachtmusik - suddenly the deliberate irony of this piece stands out very clearly (an effect further enhanced by the breezy tempo and a general refusal to go mushy). Throughout, when Mahler writes "deutlich", you can trust Gielen to make sure that you hear that particular voice. When variants of themes appear in secondary voices, Gielen will not let them go unnoticed. In fact, I have hardly heard any symphonic recording that allows you to hear so much of what is in the score. And in a symphony of this complexity, that is a great benefit. The dazzling counterpoint is revealed in all its mindblowing intricacy, and the endless subtleties of instrumentation are a constant source of delight. Of course, Gielen has reason to be thankful to his recording team. The way horns, trombones, but also clarinets stand out is truly wonderful. The transparency of the music remains unclouded even in the busiest pages: nearly every individual line remains audible. The effect is glorious. And though the playing of the SRW Orchestra is not without the occasional rough edge and very occasional lack of unanimity, it certainly needs not fear such close scrutiny.

Gielen's lack of narcissism resulted in a low publicity profile for his Mahler cycle, but among afficionado's he is something of a "Geheimtip" - and justly so.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive and Touching November 19, 2002
By wac98
Format:Audio CD
I have heard Bernstein's(DG and Sony), Boulez's, and this. Among them, this one is the most impressive to me. I like his innovative style of performing Mahler's Seventh Symphony. He explains this symphony very clearly and also it is touching. Also, the recording quality is incredibly good.
I can not understand why no one have ever reviewed this CD. I think this is one of the best performances of Seventh Symphony and highly recommed to you. (In fact, this one is my favorite.)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A holographic Seventh March 2, 2011
Format:Audio CD
I second the very positive reviews posted by other listeners. This is a very special rendering of Mahler's Seventh Symphony indeed. It seems as if Gielen has found a way to let this complicated and fractured musical process unfold in some sort of hyperdimensional space. Whilst most of his colleagues either get bogged down in the symphony's labyrinthine structures (Sinopoli), or happily dismiss the complexities in a rollercoaster ride (Solti) or - sometimes very capably - illuminate predominantly one of this work's hidden strata (say, Scherchen, the expressionist; or Abbado, the romantic), Gielen conjures a particularly multifarious 'musicscape'.

There is no 'story' here. This is absolute music indeed, in all its glittering splendour and baffling intricacy. Gielen plays on significant variety in tempo, a very lean orchestral sound, analytic clarity in the work's rhizomatic voices and painstaking attention to minute shifts in expressive registers. His approach doesn't strike me as particularly 'modernist'. It's more-dimensional than that. Gielen weaves a rich tapestry of different layers here. There is the explicit historicism that pervades this whole symphony (the references to Strauss waltzes, the baroque figurations, the serenade character of the Nachtmusiken, the rondo template of the finale). Then Mahler doubles up this historicism in his backward glance to the Wunderhorn years, not only in the brooding references to the first movement of the Third but also in the authentically Bohemian sounding first Nachtmusik, transporting us back to the First Symphony, in the manner of Callot indeed!
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