Mahler: Symphony No. 10 ~ Harding Import
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Top Customer Reviews
Harding's intent to pull us in is evident from the first bars of the great Adagio, which he molds the way a gifted Chopin pianist molds a nocturne. Literalists will want to stay at home, needless to say, once they realize how flexible the tempo and phrasing are going to be. Harding doesn't press the line as fervently as Bernstein, and he's not as coolly technical as Abbado, Chailly, or Rattle in his second recording from Berlin. Harding's approach is almost purely emotive, aiming to wrap us in a spell that will hold through the rougher, skimpier patches to come.
The Vienna Philharmonic is the perfect ensemble for him, given its effortless expressivity, although DG's slightly tubby, resonant recording could be cleaner. Another notable thing about Harding's style is its soft grain; he eschews sudden explosions and eruptions, preferrring a seamless line a la Karajan (a name I'm invoking in a positive sense).Read more ›
Most recordings made in Vienna's shoe-box shaped Musikverein, have come from live sources. This must be a studio recording. This is the first recording of a major work played by the VPO that can begin to approach the sonic results that they regularly used to get, "back in the day", at the old Sofiensaal (eventually burnt down). Sonically speaking, this is far better than what you hear on either the Kaplan or Boulez Mahler "Resurrection" recordings, for example. Point is, the sound is excellent.
Here's another "Vienna factor": the 10th - especially in the Cooke edition - has always sounded a bit too thin, or too "nude" in the bass. The Musikverein, on the other hand, has always been generous to the lower end of the audio spectrum, and the Viennese double basses and celli are among the best anywhere. As a result, and as mentioned previously, the Vienna Phil. make the Cooke version (Goldschmidt, really) sound more filled out; more natural; more complete.
All this said, there are performances I like better for tempo relationships. The two outer movements aren't nearly so slack sounding on the recent Noseda/BBC Phil. M10 (Chandos), while their "Purgatorio" (middle movement) doesn't sound quite so rushed either. Still, the Viennese strings can sustain excess slack in the outer movements better than most.Read more ›
If I may be allowed to compare this recording with one of my favorite recordings of this symphony, namely the one by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO) under Sir Simon Rattle. This performance by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (VPO) under Daniel Harding is long breathed and flowing (at about the same playing times for all movements, compared to Rattle). The playing in the recording with the BPO under Rattle is more sharply accentuated, which has an emotonally jarring effect (which is indeed very appropriate, IMHO). The climaxes on this VPO recording are more gradually built up but at the same time powerful. The whole recording is characterized by a deep sense of coherence and 'flow' - a 'warmer', more enveloping sound too (an objective statement, because the somewhat more 'jittery' playing and the more directly recorded instruments - accentuating their individual timbres - on the BPO/Rattle recording is an utter success, to my ears).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This recording elicits some very different responses. What can we say for sure? That the standard of playing, intonation, ensemble and articulation is superb, insofar as we are... Read morePublished on February 28, 2014 by Ralph Moore
I have not listened to this performance. I don't have to. The Cooke realization of Mahler's 10th is about to be superseded by that of Yoel Gamzou's new version. Read morePublished on December 10, 2010 by Muslit
There's a statement at p. 3 in the accompanying booklet that says quite a lot about this recording. Here we read the following judgement about Mahler's 10: "a lot less weird than... Read morePublished on August 13, 2010 by L. Johan
Considering the rave reviews by other listeners, I was surprised to agree with Eric Gross' view that this performance is boring. Read morePublished on August 26, 2009 by Stephen Grabow
I simply cannot understand the ecstatic reviews of this utterly insipid performance of this brilliant work. Read morePublished on August 13, 2009 by Eric Gross
The disc came shortly after I ordered it, and has been very impressive ever since. This young British maestro definitely has this score well under his skin. Read morePublished on March 1, 2009 by Robert W. Dowdell
Daniel Harding and the Vienna Philharmonic do this symphony the most justice yet. I have listened to every recording of this work and this is by far the best and most authentic... Read morePublished on December 17, 2008 by Peter Miller
Some of the previous versions I've heard of Mahler's tenth symphony have seemed sketchy, a bit disconnected and wandering. Read morePublished on November 28, 2008 by Mr John Haueisen