Listen to the Gustav Mahler’s Seventh Symphony, a composition that is associated with Prague—since Mahler conducted its premiere here in 1908 and presented the work as being “very happy”. Chief conductor Semyon Bychkov will also be recording it with the Czech Philharmonic as part of a Mahler recording project.
“Mahler specifically wanted the premiere to be in Prague. Many of Mahler’s important friends took part in the rehearsals, such as the legendary conductor Otto Klemperer and the Swiss author William Ritter, who became a great proponent and supporter of the composer. Mahler was tremendously happy here, although he spent most of his time in his hotel room, where he was constantly correcting and rewriting the individual parts, until the entire room was literally flooded with used manuscript paper. But in the exceptional cases when he went for a walk with friends, it was clear that he knew Prague down to the tiniest back street because he had spent part of his youth there, to which he referred with enthusiasm,” wrote Semyon Bychkov.