Klemperer Mahler 7 mystery?

A question to all Mahler afficionados here. I'm a great admirer of Otto Klemperer. His stoic, 'objective' interpretations of the classics have a ring of 'truth' and have 'aged' remarkable well. This would surely include his Mahler recordings of Symphony no. 2, 4 and 9 and Das Lied Von Der Erde. But what about his 7th?

I play this set every once in a while, like today, hoping to finally get it. But like before I can't (under)stand it. I wish my turntable could change gear without changing the pitch. It sounds as if it comes from another universe with a different time scale. I've read that Klemperer was in very ill health at the time of the recording and I'm aware that conductors in their 'old age' tend to slow down their choice of tempo. But this is just sooooo slooooooow, it must have been fully intentional. 

Does anyone know the story about this recording? 

Yes the tempos that Klemperer used do tend to be quite a bit slower than the rest of his contemories like Bruno Walter and Mengelberg but if you read any of the biographies of Mahler it is no coincidence to find out that Mahler himself tended to conduct his symphonies a lot slower himself so I do tend to like his symphonies with a little breathing space.
I've read this too, which is one of the reasons why I keep trying to grasp what Klemperer tried to communicate with the 7th. He took his time in the other Mahler recordings (although his first movement of no.2 is quickly paced) but this 7th is such an odd performance it falls apart completely. Klemperer much have been concious of this, which is why I tend to believe it was intentional. But what was his intention?

I think I see what you are trying to comune here but I tend to think that the 7th is a flawed child of Mahlers. I have yet to hear any conductor make anything of this symphony because it is so disproportionate from movement to movement and he was trying to bring in non orchestral instruments like the mandolin which requires most of the orchestra to hold back and I just don't think it works. I really think Klemperer wanted to say that even Mahler wasn't perfect.
Klemperer often used very brisk tempi in his early recordings. My mom was a teenager when he conducted the LA Phil in the late 1930s, attended every concert she could, and remarked on the "high energy". That he evolved into such a deeply introspective musician is remarkable. His Bruckner 6th was my favorite performance, 3 minutes longer than most and the deeply satisfying. Then I heard Celibidache's, even slower by an additional 4 minutes.

Los Angeles always had great instrumentalists, especially after the mass exodus from Nazi Germany. Hollywood, then featuring orchestral soundtracks, offered many jobs and top pay. The Philharmonic was always a potentially truly great orchestra, but for some reason never had a permanent conductor of immense stature. I saw Solti conduct several times in the ’60s, when I was a teenager. He agreed to be main conductor, and I attended his first concert as new leader. Before the program started, the Manager came onstage and announced that Solti had cancelled. However, a new conductor would step in — Zubin Mehta. Beethoven’s 7th was the main piece.

Solti was apparently so insulted he cancelled his contract, and Mehta inherited the podium.
I veered a bit off-topic, sorry — this is about Otto.

I thought that I had read somewhere that OK considered M7 to be a “mistake” on the part of the Composer, but I was challanged to find the quote in another forum and I couldn’t locate it.  At any rate, his recording of the Seventh didn’t do much for me

Klemperer  Bernstein (1)

27:53          20:45

22:12          16:55

10:29          9:30

15:49          14:35

24:30          17:50

The 7th seems to alternate between day & night and is all about "mood". This said, I prefer Bernstein’s 1966 over Klemperer’s --even though it’s faster it seems to be better at bringing out the moodiness.

I heard another superb live performance with Sir Simon Rattle conducting the Berlin PO (I think)-- recorded in the late 90s

Finally there's Tennstedt's live recording from the early 80s, nice but not quite up there with the others IMO.