In an effort to arrange the first performance of his Seventh Symphony, Gustav Mahler declared it to be his best work, “preponderantly cheerful in character.” Nevertheless, it remains the least performed symphony of the entire cycle, and has come to be regarded as enigmatic and less successful than its siblings. Mahler famously said that “a symphony must be like the world. It must embrace everything.” The Seventh is as true to this dictum as any of the other symphonies, offering a wealth of emotions, moods, and colors. The composer makes full and imaginative use of the orchestra’s extended wind and percussion sections as well as a mandolin and a guitar. All of this is brought to life by the players of the Minnesota Orchestra under Osmo Vänskä, as they continue a Mahler cycle praised for the performances as well as the recorded sound.