Mahler - Symphony No. 7 (Bernstein)

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Gustav Mahler
Symphony No 7 in E minor

Wiener Philharmoniker
Leonard Bernstein


Gustav Mahler's Seventh Symphony was written in 1904–05, with repeated revisions to the scoring. It is sometimes referred to by the title Song of the Night (German: Lied der Nacht), which Mahler never knew and certainly would never have sanctioned  Although the symphony is often described as being in the key of E minor, its tonal scheme is more complicated. The symphony's first movement moves from B minor (introduction) to E minor, and the work ends with a Rondo-Finale in C major. Thus, as Dika Newlin has pointed out, "in this symphony Mahler returns to the ideal of 'progressive tonality' which he had abandoned in the Sixth". The complexity of the work's tonal scheme was analysed in terms of "interlocking structures" by Graham George.

The duration of the symphony is around 80 minutes. There is, however, an exceptionally lengthy recording by Otto Klemperer, which is 100 minutes long, as well as a recording by Hermann Scherchen with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra that is 68 minutes long. The work is in five movements:

1. Langsam – Allegro risoluto, ma non troppo
2. Nachtmusik I (Allegro moderato. Molto moderato (Andante) )
3. Scherzo (Schattenhaft. Fließend aber nicht zu schnell )
4. Nachtmusik II (Andante amoroso)
5. Rondo-Finale


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