Item# C0128
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Product Description

C0128. JASCHA HORENSTEIN Cond. New Philharmonia S.O.: Symphony #7 in e (Mahler), Live Performance, Royal Festival Hall, London, 29 Aug., 1969. Music & Arts 727. Long out-of-print, Final Copy! - 017685072727


"Jascha Horenstein's Mahler symphonies are among the greatest ever recorded, each a definitive "benchmark" interpretation. Horenstein's legendary Seventh, a live performance from 1969, is no exception. This performance not only stands alone among Mahler Sevenths, but it is a testament to the brilliance of Horenstein, who makes a masterpiece out of the most difficult Mahler symphony to pull off; the one that derails most every other conductor.

Here is the "night patrol" of Mahler's conception captured like no other. The ghosts of the Mahler Fifth and Sixth symphonies, and "Revelge", haunt the dark, intense tread of the funereal first movement. Unlike virtually every other recording of the Seventh, there are no lurching, inconsistent tempos, flagging energy or loss of focus. Horenstein not only sustains throughout this movement, but does so powerfully with a sure hand. Furthermore, he has much to say.

This Homeric journey continues into the mysterious soundscapes of the inner movements. Horenstein's detail, particularly on the dark, ominous undercurrents, an atmosphere of foreboding, is stunning, while the suspense and dramatic line are sustained all the way through until the finale. Then comes a startling leap into blazing day light, a thunderous celebratory movement that Horenstein nails better than anyone else, with the irony and raucous humor that Mahler intended.

Unlike other worthy (and much more popular and critically lauded) versions by Abbado, Rattle, Bernstein, Tilson-Thomas and others, or the slow motion slog of Klemperer, Horenstein's has no weak moments, ungainly galloping, or messy overindulgences. His Mahler Seventh does not derail clumsily.

The Mahler Sevenths that even approach the Horenstein/New Philarharmonia benchmark are Hans Zender/Saarbrucken, Michael Gielen/SWR, Michael Gielen/Berlin, and Adam Fischer/Dusseldorf. There are similarities to Horenstein's to be found in these performances (similar not too fast/not too slow tempi) but also unique variations. Zender and Gielen offer chiseled modernist, somewhat more sober viewpoints. Fischer's is a more conventional top-down view that is highly appealing and performed brilliantly.

Best one ever. Highest recommendation."