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Mahler: Symphony No. 10


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Audio CD, June 6, 2000
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$17.39 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 6 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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Just as the Payne/Elgar Symphony No. 3 is not Edward Elgar's definitive statement, Mahler did not complete his Symphony No. 10. He did, however, complete the first movement in full score and the second in short score, while he left incomplete sketches for the remainder. Had he lived, Mahler would almost certainly have shaped the material further. This means that the performance edition prepared by Deryck Cooke in the early 1960s is not a completion, it's an orchestration of the short score left at Mahler's death in 1911. It nevertheless sounds very "complete," both in itself and as a summation of the romantic-epic 19th century German musical tradition. Hereafter, the France of Debussy and Ravel would lead the musical world, and Stravinsky's 1913 Parisian premiere of The Rite of Spring would turn it upside-down.

Simon Rattle has recorded a fine version with the CBSO. In 1980, Rattle conducted the Symphony No. 10 in a highly acclaimed performance with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, and this later version with the Berlin Philharmonic offers even greater expressive control and power. The tempos are slightly slower and, inevitably, the performances more musically eloquent. The excellent live sound omits all but the faintest background noise, and the grave beauty of the Finale becomes a deeply moving testament to a world long-since gone. --Gary S. Dalkin


1. Sym No.10: I. Adagio
2. Sym No.10: II. Scherzo
3. Sym No.10: III. Purgatorio (Allegretto Moderato)
4. Sym No.10: IV. Scherzo
5. Sym No.10: V. Finale

Product Details

  • Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Simon Rattle
  • Composer: Gustav Mahler
  • Audio CD (June 6, 2000)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Classics
  • ASIN: B00004RITP
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,364 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

It is an essential recording and highly recommended for any classical music lovers.
Sungu Okan
This must be the most 'highly charged' (emotionally as well as purely musical) performance - combined with some of the most disciplined playing - ever recorded.
Pater Ecstaticus
This may very well be the definitive recording of Cooke's completed version of Mahler's score.
John Kwok

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Bob Zeidler on November 16, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I am one of those old enough to have been actively tuned in to the late-'60's release of Eugene Ormandy's pioneering recording, with the Philadelphia Orchestra, of the original Deryck Cooke "performing version" of Mahler's 10th Symphony. While not the last word as a finely-wrought or subtle performance, it won me over to the concept that there was merit in hearing Mahler's thoughts as they existed before he could finish the work prior to his premature death. Recognizing his mortality, this was to have been his final "leave-taking" work, part of a trilogy in which "Das Lied von der Erde" and the 9th Symphony represented his farewells to nature and the world at large and to his friends and to music, and this 10th Symphony a special farewell to his wife, Alma. For many years, she did not release the private materials that Mahler had left behind, and resisted all efforts to permit "completion" of the work. But, by 1960, the statute of limitations on his estate expired, and, a few years later, she reconsidered her long-held action and relented, making the materials available for scholarship. It was at this point that Cooke, and then Ormandy, entered the picture.

Parts of the score were so sparse as to represent a risk of interpolative "tinkering" by those who endeavored to put flesh on the skeleton, and Alma Mahler's fears were not unfounded when "reconstructors" such as Mazzetti and Carpenter did major damage to Mahler's sparely-indicated intent by adding too much of their thoughts and not letting Mahler's notes speak for themselves. But Deryck Cooke did a masterful job of stepping aside, letting Mahler's voice come through.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Darius Battiwalla on June 25, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Like other reviewers, I was familiar with Rattle's earlier recording (with the Bournemouth SO, not the CBSO as someone else mentioned) and was eager to hear this - and on the whole was not disappointed. Of course you'd expect the Berlin violas to be a bit better in the long opening solo - but actually that's all they are: a bit better. Of course the recording is finer - for instance, one drawback of the earlier one was that you could hear the faders going up and down for the big drum strokes that open the finale. And on the same point, this recording makes the final drumstroke of the fourth movement double as the opening of the fifth - much better than on the earlier recording where you heard it twice. Musically is it any better? Well all the slow music has become broader and sometimes reduced in intensity - the long slow passage which ends the symphony doesn't quite hang together for me, and the great violin outburst right at the end doesn't to grow out of what's gone before. Faster passages - particularly in the third and fourth movements - have more urgency and drive and benefit from the better recording. The greatest surprise for me came at the climax of the last movement where Rattle has changed the bass note of the great chord which begins the long trumpet high A. If one takes the sketch literally then he's right to do so - but I can't convince myself of it yet. If you're not sure if you should buy it or not, then buy it - you're bound to find something worthwhile in it. Personally I'm glad to have both recordings of this wonderful piece which tantalizingly shows the different direction Mahler was taking after the Ninth.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Christopher Coleman on October 16, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Gustav Mahler's Tenth Symphony is for me one of the most beautiful and anguished art works ever created. I've called Mahler's Tenth "the greatest piece of music never written" because it remained unfinished at the time of his death. Although parts of the symphony are complete and orchestrated, and there is a continuity of music in an abbreviated composer's shorthand known as "short score" from beginning to end, so much is left undone that Mahler originally told his wife Alma to burn it. There are three or four substantial versions of the work--the most significant are the two created by musicologist Deryck Cooke. It is the second of these, done in collaboration with Berthold Goldschmidt, Colin Matthews and David Matthews, that is recorded on this EMI Classics CD of the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Sir Simon Rattle. Clearly this is not exactly what Mahler would have presented; but in the words of Cooke, "Mahler's music, even in its unperfected and unelaborated state, has such significance, strength and beauty, that it dwarfs into insignificance any uncertainties." I agree wholeheartedly. This is not a piece of music I would want to be without, regardless of its provenance. In the climax of the first movement, for example, the pain of loss is practically tangible.
This is a truly unique achievement--music like this has not existed before or since. Mahler stood at the cusp of the modern century; but his contribution is the last dying breath of Romanticism. All the tools and techinques of tonal music were his to command, and where expression demanded it he expanded his musical world to include sonorities well outside the traditional tonal realm.
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Mahler: Symphony No. 10
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