This month’s albums from Society of Sound encompass two very different forms of classical music. LSO Live’s recording is a seminal interpretation by Valery Gergiev of Mahler Symphony No 7, while Hamsadhwani by Shashank draws on one of the most ancient musical traditions in the world.
Flute maestro Shashank hails from Hassan, a district in the Southern state of Karnataka, India. Shashank stormed into the music world at the age of seven. He was the youngest musician to be invited by The Music Academy, Chennai (the most prestigious venue for classical music in Southern India where legends of classic music performed) at the age of 12 – a record yet to be broken in the history of South Indian Music.
This album was recorded with just 1 accompanying musician on the double-headed drum known as ‘mridangam’. The entire session was live and was recorded using Sony microphones, an O2R mixing desk and Gellec speakers with in-built amps. The recording was done over a span of just 2 days with 1 day for the live session and the second for editing and mixing. The session was recorded as if to capture a live concert in a single take.
Please note, the Shashank recording was not recorded in 24-bit and therefore will not be available in that format.
Mahler’s Seventh has long been regarded as his ‘problem symphony’. With a fair collection of both critics and supporters since it was first performed in 1908. Even some of Mahler’s most passionate admirers have found the structure anything but harmonious. The middle three movements in particular have caused consternation, and it’s often said that they appear to exist in a world of their own; a nocturnal, almost sinister world, in which the outer movements do not belong.
But while the Seventh can be problematic and enigmatic, what is without doubt, is that the perfect combination of the London Symphony Orchestra and Valery Gergiev have once again come together to produce a wonderful interpretation of Mahler.