Symphony No. 7
Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra
catalog number 21041
The seventh symphony somehow does not fit in with this commonly held view of the composer. The jubilant tone of the finale, the adulating and tender atmosphere of the nocturne and the modern scurrility of the scherzo seem to be something different and new among his works. “It is my best work and its character is mainly jovial”. This remark by Mahler about his seventh symphony should be seen in contrast to Theodor W. Adorno’s terse judgement of the finale, written in the year of the premiere (1908): “The movement is theatrical: only the canopy above the stage on the all too near fairground is that blue.” Taking Mahler’s optimism seriously? Is that possible?