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Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu-ray Review

Posted May 3rd, 2011 by Lawrence D. Devoe, MD

mahlerno7abbadolucerne 267x338 Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080i/60
  • Audio Codec: PCM 2.0, DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Subtitles: N/A
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Discs: 1
  • Studio: EUROARTS
  • Blu-ray Release Date: April 11, 2011
  • List Price:

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Overall
rating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Review
The Performance
rating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Review
Video Quality
rating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating 5 Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Review
Audio Quality
rating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating 5 Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Review
Supplemental Materials
rating 0 Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating 0 Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating 0 Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating 0 Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating 0 Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Review

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

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The Performance

rating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Review

Hall 600x338 Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Review

Claudio Abbado contributes another chapter to this Mahler cycle with his hand-picked ensemble, the Lucerne  Festival Orchestra. The performance, dating from August 2005, brings a less frequently heard late Mahler work, the Symphony No. 7 in E Minor, the so called “Song of the Night,”  to the intimate setting of this Swiss summer venue.  The seventh symphony, written between 1904 and 1905, premiered in Prague in 1908.  It has 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. There are substantial mood shifts between the almost-martial tempi of the first movement and the two dreamy Nachtmusik (Night Music) movements which feature cowbells, bird sounds, and mandolin and guitar solos.  The final movement seems out of place, almost an after-thought, and contains take-offs on Wagner’s Die Meistersinger, Lehar’s Merry Widow, the Lutheran Hymn,”A Mighty fortress is our God,” and quotes from Mahler’s own Symphony No. 5.  As with the previous entries in this Mahler series,  music-making is at the highest level, evoked by a dean of current conductors, with highly complimentary videography and sound recording.

Video Quality

rating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating 5 Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Review

abbado 1 600x338 Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Review

The Festival Hall is gorgeous and well portrayed by veteran director, Michael Beyer’s camera work. Spotlights on individual instruments are well done and images are crisp without being surreal. Maestro Abbado has animated face and hand movements, which are captured by occasional but not excessive close-up shots. Beyer tends to favor frequent cut-aways, certainly not a concert hall experience, but these add to the interest in what would be otherwise a very static video.

Audio Quality

rating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating 5 Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Review

whole orchestra 600x338 Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Review

Sonically, the dts-HD Master Audio presentation is appropriately warm and well balanced. Orchestral details are well delineated without being clinical.  The low end of the sound spectrum is clean  and  clear. The large-scale Finale is a block buster and Abbado, aided by the sound engineers, puts it right in your lap. As expected, the perspective is an orchestra row seat with an effective proscenium effect and minimal ambience in the surround channels.

Supplemental Materials

rating 0 Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating 0 Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating 0 Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating 0 Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating 0 Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Review

harps 600x338 Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Review

Euroarts usually only provides trailers for their other featured performances and this disc was no exception. As this is one of Mahler’s lesser known works, it would have been great to get some more insights than those provided by the program booklet, but no dice.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

rating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Review

strings 600x338 Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Review

It is an unmitigated pleasure to hear a work that I have loved for nearly 50 years and well before Gustav Mahler became a 20th century orchestral darling. Of course, the sonic quality of the first Mahler 7th that I owned was nowhere near the level of this disc. It was a revelation to hear so much detail that this complex work contains. This is due, in no small measure, to Maestro Abbado’s care in eliciting an evocative yet well-disciplined performance from his players. To my knowledge, this is an initial BD release and it makes a very strong case for this unjustly neglected masterpiece. For those who want a sharp contrast in styles, there is a standard DVD, featuring Leonard Bernstein and the Wiener Philharmoniker. Bernstein tends to go after dramatic effects, a tendency that tends not to wear as well over repeated hearings. Without doubt both video and audio qualities are far better with this Abbado BD. Despite the absence of extras, this is a brilliant performance that is equally well recorded. The bravos and standing ovation at the end echo my sentiments exactly!

Additional Screen Captures

drums 600x338 Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Review

horn 600x338 Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Review

oboes 600x338 Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Review

Mandolin 600x338 Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Review

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Overall
rating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Review
The Performance
rating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Review
Video Quality
rating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating 5 Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Review
Audio Quality
rating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating 5 Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Review
Supplemental Materials
rating 0 Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating 0 Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating 0 Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating 0 Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Reviewrating 0 Mahler: Symphony 7 [Abbado/Lucerne Festival] Blu ray Review

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Tags: 1080i/60, AVC/MPEG-4, Classical Music, Claudio Abbado, DTS-HD Master Audio, EuroArts, Lucerne Festival, Mahler, Orchestral Music, Symphony No. 7

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