Programme Guide

It was the largest project the Berliner Philharmoniker undertook during Sir Simon Rattle’s time as chief conductor of the orchestra: starting in August 2010, they performed all of Gustav Mahler’s large-scale orchestral works over a sixteenmonth period. At the opening concert of the 2011/12 season, the Seventh Symphony was performed, which is still a source of debate among Mahler fans to this day – due in particular to the final movement with its expression of unparalleled grandness and celebration.

Even supporters of the composer such as Otto Klemperer and Theodor W. Adorno were baffled by this finale which did not fit the image of the eternally doubting Mahler. Others believe the movement was intended as a parody of the craze at the time for all things big. We would recommend today’s audiences form their own judgement – and in addition to the overwhelming nature of the symphony’s finale, not lose sight of the three middle movements which conjure up a unique nocturnal atmosphere, full of poetry and nature, with a ghostly scherzo at its centre.

Help Contact
How to watch Newsletter Institutional Access Access Vouchers
Legal notice Terms of use Privacy Policy