NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester / Alan Gilbert
Video on demand from 30 Oct 2022

Alan Gilbert conducts Mahler's Seventh

The NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra and its chief conductor present Gustav Mahler's Seventh Symphony.

When Alan Gilbert takes the rostrum in front of his NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra with a Mahler score, the audience can look forward to a passionate and exciting performance! Since his parents dragged him to concerts with all the Mahler symphonies at the age of nine, the New Yorker hasn't been able get to the Austrian composer's music out of his mind.

With gripping performances all over the world, the chief conductor of the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra has proved his special  empathy for Mahler's spellbinding scores time after time. After opening the 2022/23 season with the Second Symphony, Gilbert follows up now with the Seventh.

Audio introduction to Mahler's Symphony No. 7 (German only) | NDR: Klassik to Go (6 minutes)

Alan Gilbert Alan Gilbert © Peter Hundert
NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra © Nikolaj Lund


NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester

conductor Alan Gilbert


Gustav Mahler
Symphony No 7 E minor

About the music

Compared with other Mahler symphonies, the Seventh leads something of a shadowy existence on the international concert scene. This might be because many fans of the composer's music are bothered by the all too positive finale, which sticks resolutely to the radiant key of C major. One can allow Mahler this outburst of ecstasy at best as having an underlying meaning. »It is my best work, with a sunny character for the most part,« the composer once said himself about his Seventh.

Gustav Mahler
Gustav Mahler

But on the other hand, the Seventh seems to have been composed outwards from the inside, with the third of the five movements playing a central role. And this scherzo bears the meaningful performance instruction »Schattenhaft« (Shadowy). By the same token, the two pieces of »Nachtmusik«, as Mahler called the second and fourth movements, undeniably reveal the inner conflict so typical of the composer's work. So not all that glitters is gold.

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