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on 11 July 2012
Given that as a young man Daniel Barenboim worked with both Barbirolli and Klemperer, it is perhaps not surprising that he turns out to be an excellent Mahler conductor.

This version of the 7th, a symphony that has always to me seemed enigmatic (especially in the first movement's ambivalence), is difficult to fault, as is the superb playing of the Staatskapelle Berlin. The recording is also very fine (which one cannot take for granted in the Philharmonie) although it is surprising that the tenor horn at the start of Nachtmusik 1 is not quite so prominent as it needs to be.

Barenboim realises fully the symphony's varied moods, and, whereas the reflective, poetic episodes in the first movement have a beautifully static feel, elsewhere when more energy is called for he (and the players) are not found wanting.

I am still getting to know this performance, and may add more comments at a later date. For the moment, in terms of quality, it strikes me as being of the same lofty rank as Barbirolli (on BBC Legends) and Kubelik (on Audite); so prospective buyers should go for it!
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