Notes & Reviews:
"It's different having best friends together. Everyone is there to enjoy making music, to take pleasure, to play with enthusiasm, with passion. They are prepared to do any crazy thing I ask them for the sake of the music. To fly, to walk through fire." - Claudio Abbado "Has there ever been a suaver, more transparent Mahler performance or one in which everything stays so beautifully in tune?... Abbado's music-making is a celebration of the purest joy." - Gramophone
There's a realistic woodiness and a sense of an object with a hollow cavity in the reproduction of massed string basses in an especially exposed passage during the second movement. The representation of guitar and mandolin in Nachtmusik II is exquisite - their parts are quite easy to appreciate without any bloating of the instrumental images.
Pitched straight into the Rondo-Finale we're given a taut, muscular view of what often seems a rhetorical, undecided movement. In between the attack of timps and bay of brass the dance-like episodes are given a wonderful lilt. And like Burns' Tam o' Shanter and his trusty steed - pursued by witches and warlocks - the music gallops across the drawbridge to triumph and safety. It's a bracing ride, greeted by a well-deserved roar of approval.
This is a mighty, long-shadowed Mahler Seventh; Abbado confronts all its quirks and quiddities and persuades us this is how the symphony should go. If only the sonics were up to the standards of more recent Blu-rays this would be even more desirable. Still, if I were to award stars for sound and performance - as one of our rivals is wont to do - I'd happily give it 8/10.
The Festival Hall is gorgeous and well portrayed by veteran director, Michael Beyer's camera work. Spotlights on individual instruments are well done and images are crisp without being surreal. Maestro Abbado has animated face and hand movements, which are captured by occasional but not excessive close-up shots.
Run Time: 78 min.
Picture Format: Blu-Ray, 16:9, Color
Sound Format(s): LPCM Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.0, DTS 5.0
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Works DetailsMahler, Gustav : Symphony no 7 in E minor
- Conductor: Claudio Abbado
- Ensemble: Lucerne Festival Orchestra
- Period Time: Post Romantic
- Form: Orchestral
- Written: 1904-1905