Mahler: Symphony No 7

Reviewed on Mon 20 Feb, 2017

Set down within the glowing acoustic of Dusseldorf's Tonhalle, Ádám Fischer's shrewdly paced, painstakingly prepared and infectiously communicative traversal is notable for its meticulous fidelity to Mahler's very specific demands.

Here's the genuinely promising first instalment in a new Mahler symphony cycle under the cogent and unexaggerated baton of Ádám Fischer (elder brother of Iván). Set down within the glowing acoustic of Dusseldorf's Tonhalle, Fischer's shrewdly paced, painstakingly prepared and infectiously communicative traversal is notable for its meticulous fidelity to Mahler's very specific demands; indeed, there are countless touches that both readily ignite the imagination and tug at the heartstrings (sample the achingly tender fourth movement). Fischer's antiphonally placed first and second fiddles are also a boon. Granted, the Dusseldorf strings may not possess the tonal clout of higher-profile outfits, but there's ample compensation in the gratifying temperament, watchful sensitivity and eager commitment on show (the woodwinds, by the way, are exceptionally characterful and responsive throughout). The engineering has heaps of 'take you there' immediacy and impact. Take my word for it: this involved and involving Mahler Seven is certainly worth hunting down.
–Andrew Achenbach