This is a very fine performance of Mahler's 7th Symphony, probably the best of Abbado's 1980s Mahler cycle. The performance of the first movement in particular is extremely compelling, as dramatic as Bernstein's DG performance and even more beautifully played. The inner movements are also very well done.
Abbado rerecorded the 7th Symphony with the Berlin Philharmonic in 2001. The Berlin version has incredible orchestral playing and a more exciting finale. If forced to choose one version, the Berlin recording would be my first choice.
However, the sound quality of this Chicago recording is very good and the orchestral playing is excellent. It still has a lot going for it, despite the competition from Bernstein and the later Abbado. I'm glad to have it in my collection.