Mahler’s Symphony No. 7 is probably the most challenging of his ten, both for audiences and conductors. Its episodic nature and extreme contrasts often throw up a barrier that many people take a long time to overcome. Yet Russian conductor Kirill Petrenko, drawing astounding playing from his Bavarian State Orchestra, relishes those contrasts. And rather than attempt to homogenize them, he celebrates the symphony’s richness and reach. It’s a magnificent achievement and demonstrates why the Berliner Philharmoniker chose the right man as their chief conductor (he took up the position in 2019). From the first notes, Petrenko convinces us that this is one of Mahler’s greatest symphonies, as he unfolds its complex narrative with total understanding and palpable affection.
May 28, 2021 5 Songs, 1 hour, 12 minutes ℗ 2021 Bayerische Staatsoper Recordings