Daniel Barenboim’s first recording of Gustav Mahler’s epic Seventh Symphony; the result of his long engagement with the work. Mahler’s Seventh Symphony was the piece Barenboim chose to commemorate the September 11th 2001 terrorist attacks with a poignant performance at the Lucerne Festival. He told the audience: "Maybe, when words are inadequate, music can express the feelings we all have." The Guardian, August 31st 2001 – Barenboim contributes an article headlined Love, the hard way exploring his relationship with Mahler’s music. “Conducting the Seventh is like carrying out an archaeological dig,” he writes. “When the first movement starts, you feel you are digging down through the layers, looking into dark places and examining them in the light.” Barenboim’s article was published to coincide with a performance of Mahler’s Seventh at that year’s Proms, hailed then by critic Andrew Clements as “(a performance) of the still-puzzling Seventh that cohered truthfully… packed with memorable details and awe-inspiring orchestral playing.” Mahler’s Seventh – written in 1908 – is widely considered to be one of his richest, most complex and ambiguous scores. Barenboim studied the scores Mahler himself used when conducting to gain insight into his sense of orchestral colour and use of dynamics. “His sense of colour is extraordinarily delicate and subtle. There are very few composers who demand that degree of detail…this was a pivotal insight in my understanding of Mahler.” Barenboim performs the work here with the Staatskapelle Berlin, an orchestra with a history stretching back to the 1570s. It’s the living embodiment of the Austro-German tradition out of which Mahler’s music developed and evolved. Barenboim recorded Mahler’s Fifth Symphony for Warner Classics in 1998; forthcoming releases with the Staatskapelle Berlin will include new Barenboim recordings of Mahler’s Song of the Earth and Ninth Symphony.
Mahler: Symphony No.7: I Langsam — Allegro con fuoco 2564 62963-2