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Mahler Symphony No. 7


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SKU: 38019 Category:


Langsam-allegro risoluto
Nachtmusik 1 - Allegro moderato
Scherzo - Schattenhaft
Nachtmusik 2 - Andante amoroso



“I am happy that the Dutch TV company VPRO made a documentary of
our recording of this great symphony. This film is available on the internet.
[YouTube/Mahler 7/Iván Fischer] It documents my efforts in proving that
the last movement of Mahler’s seventh symphony – despite some doubts
of Mahler experts – is a masterpiece. This work is often seen as enigmatic,
fragmented, less accessible than the other, beloved Mahler Symphonies.
May this recording contribute to a revalidation!
Mahler returns here to a perfect balance. He ended the 6th Symphony in
a tragic minor key. Here he offers us the full journey from darkness to
light. And what a journey it is! Please note the most magnificent scherzo
framed between the two unique night music episodes! I love this

– Iván Fischer

Additional information


Analog to digital converter

DSD Super Audio/Grimm Audio

Mastering equiment

Amplifier: Classe 5200, Cables: Van den Hul (exclusive use of Van den Hul cables)

Mastering engineer

Jared Sacks


Jared Sacks


Van den Hul

Mixing console

Rens Heijnis, custom design


Bruel & Kjaer 4006, Schoeps

Recording format

DSD 64

Recording date

September 2015


Recording location

Palace of Arts, Budapest

Recording engineer

Jared Sacks, Hein Dekker


Hein Dekker


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Grimm ls1

Press reviews

The Times 5 out of 5

12th April 2019
In sorrow or joy, everything is richly textured, heralded from the start by a haunting tenor horn, the first of many gorgeously earthy wind colours from an orchestra and conductor who seem constitutionally unable to generate a boring sound. The Channel Classics recording contributes its own warmth and clarity, especially helpful in the Nachtmusik interludes, or the brief visitations by a mandolin, guitar, and gently rattling cowbells. Whatever the music’s mood, I found Fischer’s reading utterly compelling and a spring tonic.


In this extraordinary version, the Orchestra of the Budapest Festival, formed by top-level musicians, dominates the exhibition theme and accurately points out the sound effects that Mahler demands in this symphony. Imagination, expressiveness, nocturnality, melancholy and sadness are the words that appear in the meticulous writing of the bohemian Austrian composer.

MusicWeb International “RECORDING OF THE MONTH”

The playing of the BFO is superb and so, too, is the recording; in particular I appreciate the excellent perspectives – both left-to-right and front-to-back – that the engineers have achieved. (…) This first movement is packed with incident and interest and Fischer lays out everything before us with consummate skill. This is a terrific account of the first movement.(…) This is a tremendous performance of the Seventh, magnificently played and recorded. It’s one of the best accounts of the symphony that I’ve heard. I believe this is the last instalment of Iván Fischer’s Mahler series: he’s gone out on a very high note indeed.

BBC Music Magazine – ORCHESTRAL CHOICE 5 out of 5

A blazing new dawn for Mahler’s Seventh (…) Iván Fischer dances with brilliant fanfares (…) Throughout there’s a transparency to the recorded sound, even in the heftiest passages, which is beautifully underlined by natural, state-of-the-art recording. (Double 5-STAR Review)

Diapason 6.25 out of 5

L’approche d’Ivan Fischer se caractérise par sa palette chaude « mitteleuropéenne », un travail admirable sur la rondeur, le fondu, la complémentarité et la puissance sonore.

Iván Fischer dirigiert die Siebte – sicher einer der Höhepunkte seines Mahler-Zyklus mit dem Budapest Festival Orchestra. (…) Das Schöne ist, dass man das auf dieser Aufnahme alles auch hören kann. Vor allem im Surround-Modus entfaltet sich bereits mit dem ersten volltönenden Solo des Tenorhorns eine breite orchestrale Klangbühne, von der Piccoloflöte bis zum Kontrafagott, von den geteilten Soloviolinen bis zur Tuba, von der Gitarre und der Mandoline bis zum Glockenspiel. (…) Somit wird anhand der Siebten mustergültig deutlich, dass es Iván Fischer bei Mahler nicht um eine Psychologisierung oder programmatische Ausdeutung der Musik Mahlers gehen dürfte, sondern um den rein musikalischen Reichtum.

MusicWeb International ‘RECOMMENDED’

This is a tremendous performance of the Seventh, magnificently played and recorded. It’s one of the best accounts of the symphony that I’ve heard. I believe this is the last instalment of Iván Fischer’s Mahler series: he’s gone out on a very high note indeed.

Opus Klassiek

Iván Fischer en zijn orkest hebben met deze uitvoering van Mahlers Zevende een groots monument opgetrokken dat zich kan meten met de beste vertolkingen (…) een hoogtepunt in Fischers Mahler-cyclus. (…) 5 out of 5

(…) From the opening bars of the 1st movement it is clear that we are to be guided though this ‘darkness to light’ symphony by capable hands. (…) The movement’s striking central section (from 8.50) with its soft trumpet fanfares and woodwind cries is performed with all the fantasy and imagination one could wish for and delineated by orchestral playing of the utmost sensitivity.(…) an outstandingly realistic recording. The sound is miraculously detailed yet possesses a remarkable tonal warmth and coherence that places it above most of the considerable competition available in high resolution versions of this work. (…) The present issue deserves the highest recommendation for both performance and sound quality. There can be little doubt that, for many, it will be the top choice for a recording of this symphony.

KZ April 2019

Iván Fischer heeft zijn Budapest Festival Orchestra in korte tijd naar de wereldtop geleid. (…)Het orkest doet het allemaal perfect uit de doeken met fijn gedoseerde schakeringen in klank en sfeer. Ook de emotionele zeggingskracht is zorgvuldig afgewogen (…)

(…) All things considered, I am inclined to endorse Ivan Fischer’s new release as the best Mahler 7th on record.
Fischer plays slow and loose with his tempi, sometimes extending the low brass to lip-bursting point, but he treats the symphony as a story to be told and what comes over is a vivid account of an artist’s life, errors and all. Unlike other maestros, he does not try to improve Mahler. If some of the composer’s decisions are questionable, so be it. The Budapest Festival Orchestra are fabulously flexible, joining in what feels like a voyage of discovery, a walk on a rickety bridge above a croc-infested creek. Strong stuff.


(…) Iván Fischer’s love for Mahler’s music comes through so strongly that his conducting sweeps you away. Jared Sacks’ engineering is, as always, superb. The silence and clarity of the high-resolution DSD format convincingly conveys the depth and breadth of Budapest’s Palace of Arts and the sheer force of the orchestra. The big climaxes—there’s also one at the end of the first movement—are thrilling. This is a wonderful recording.

Gramophone Recording of the Month

(…) Here and everywhere it’s a performance full of first-time wonder in which the natural Iván Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra relish Mahler’s pathos and bathos, with an account that is not just beautiful but intensely moving symbiosis between Fischer and his players completely transcends the painstaking preparation that will have gone into the making of it. (…)

BBC Radio 3

… teaming with detail … every phrase moulded with care … each emotional nuance embraced with affection … a rare sense of impetuous spontaneity … he makes me love it as much as he says he does … superb recording … which you ought to sample in surround …

Financial Times 4 Stars 6.25 out of 5

(…) Every phrase, every note, every dot and dash of their performances is polished till it shines. Put a great, panoramic Mahler symphony in front of them and the result is a kaleidoscope of previously unnoticed detail. (…) this is a Mahler Seven that stands apart from the competition. (…)

Crescendo Mag Be 4 x ten 5 out of 5

(…) Mahlérien émérite à la tête d’un orchestre d’élite, Ivan Fischer construit à un rythme lent une intégrale qui fait date. (…) Les deux “Nachtmusik” sont idéales de fraîcheurs : les somptuosités mélodiques font face à une masse instrumentale allégée et ici foncièrement chambriste. Dans les mouvements extrêmes, la force de la direction d’Ivan Fischer est de renforcer le nerf de cette musique avec énergie et sens narratif. (…) Son 10 – Livret 10 – Répertoire 10 – Interprétation 10

Musicweb International Recommended Recording

(…) Iván follows his revitalising Third with a similarly talented Seventh; as before, the engineering is first rate. (…) Iván’s first movement is spaciously conceived, with a full-fat tenorhorn, alert phrasing and a pleasing sense of purpose. His strikes me as a considered approach, in every sense of the word, but that’s not so suggest it’s without nuance or character. Some may prefer a freer, more seamless line, but at least there’s no shortage of ear-pricking incident. Hein Dekker and Jared Sacks’s judiciously balanced, ‘hear through’ recording is a great asset in this respect, Mahler’s smaller, easy-to-miss epiphanies beautifully caught. As for the playing, it’s beyond reproach, with ravishing harps and well-blended Wagnerian brass. Iván’s opener also seems darker than some, but then, like Gielen, he doesn’t shrink from the music’s equivocations; in short,, he forges a much tougher, more absorbing narrative here than most. (…)

Pizzicato 5 out of 5

(…) Ivan Fischer takes a close look at the diversity of Mahler’s Seventh Symphony, and not the least due to the excellent playing of his Budapest Festival Orchestra, this is a strong account of the work. The recorded surround sound is excellent.

The Guardian, The Observer

Iván Fischer, conducting his Budapest Festival Orchestra (Channel Classics), is an eloquent champion, celebrating the work’s eclecticism – cow bells, courtly dances, folk song – in a blaze of aural invention. His players, as ever, are lithe, spirited, virtuosic. Watch the documentary Fischer made with the BFO to get a sense of his commitment to every nuance and accent, and to the multiplicity of styles found in this expansive work.


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