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Mahler Symphony 10 Completions

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Started last night on a fun listening project: the "unfinished" Mahler Symphony 10. Since the composer's death, there have been several "completions" that have gained various degrees of support. Obviously, the gold standard is the Deryck Cooke version, that was blessed by Alma Mahler herself. This is the version I know and love. My favorite performance is:

 

Mahler Symphony No. 10 in F-Sharp Minor (Completed D. Cooke, 1976) [Live].jpg

 

 

So, I thought I'd - over several nights - try out some of the other notable versions, by Joe Wheeler, Clinton Carpenter, Rudolf Barshai, Yoel Gamzou, and a chamber version by Michelle Castelletti. I'll be listening to the 3rd Purgatorio and 5th Finale movements.

 

First up:

 

image.png

 

Verdict: 👎

 

I disliked the orchestration in general, and the tempo in the last movement was almost frenetic, giving me no emotional connection to the music. Blah!

 

 

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17 minutes ago, Bob Stern said:

 

We have the same taste here: my favorite also is Dausgaard, Seattle Sym.  In the unlikely event you might also like a heavier, slower performance, Levine Philadelphia 1978 (RCA) also is good.

 

If you're looking for a Carpenter to try, the one by Andrew Litton & Dallas Sym got good reviews.

 

Thanks, I had identified the Zinman/Tonhalle release to listen to, but will certainly add Litton/Dallas to my playlist.

 

15 minutes ago, AnotherSpin said:

 

What is your opinion about Rattle's version with Bournemouth Orch.?

 

That's another Cooke performance, isn't it? I've not heard it. I've heard Rattle's version with the Berlin PO and liked it fine, it just didn't displace Dausgaard/Seattle.

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5 hours ago, chetthejet said:

If you can find it somewhere, you might be interested in trying the 1965 recording with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia.......if nothing else because of its history.  It was the first ever commercial recording of the Cooke/#10.


This one? It’s on Qobuz.

 

CD04B9AE-09AE-4237-B628-75977B70A55E.jpeg

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3 hours ago, Norton said:

I’m not familiar with this work (although I think I have several unplayed copies buried in the vinyl collection).

 

I did notice a couple of recordings from Exton (a favourite label) including  a one point microphone recording:

 

https://open.qobuz.com/album/0191018049775

 

plus:


https://open.qobuz.com/album/n9pj5277m91xc

 

Can someone post a link for the Ormandy, I can’t find using obvious search criteria? Thanks.

 

Yes, the second one is on my list to listen to. It is the "Samale & Mazzuca" completion version.

 

The Ormandy is here (Qobuz US): https://open.qobuz.com/album/0828767874227

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My plan for listening — in case you want to do the same, perhaps? — is to check out the Clinton Carpenter completion versions tonight:

Subsequent few nights:

Feel free to post your impressions. No need to synchronize. It's not like there are spoilers here!

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I had a delay due to an AC malfunction, that just got fixed by a tech who came in full PPE! Well - no - just a mask and gloves, but still, as safe as could be expected.

 

With the house blessedly cooling on a humid Texas day, I finally got a chance to listen to the two Clinton Carpenter completions:

0BEAB811-46BF-45EA-90B3-C0E51E0C2664.jpegB7935A41-6479-437F-AC11-6DF67C0E2981.jpeg

 

I don't know - either Cooke's version is now baked in to my brain, or it really does sound more true to Mahler, but just like the Wheeler completion, this one just didn't sound "right." The Litton/Dallas had better SQ, and a more pleasing performance overall, but left me cold again.

 

I suspect you really have to be a musicologist or a trained musician to do this comparison. I am neither. Maybe some of you can be more expert in this, but for me, this doesn't feel like a worthwhile project any more. I will still listen to the others on the list, but I would be very surprised if any of them supplant the Cooke version as my favorite.

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Wow, very impressive. You binge-listened to quite the collection there!  Now I need to catch up! Thanks for your impressions.

 

The first Adagio movement was the most completed part of this symphony by the composer, so has the least need for completion. That's why it is (and should) be similar in all the completion versions. And indeed, is the one performed the most by conductors who don't want to touch any of the completion versions.

 

For my part, my listening last night continued with two more completion versions:

 

Remo Mazetti completion version: Slatkin/St. Louis: 

https://open.qobuz.com/album/0888880762153

https://tidal.com/browse/album/13331927

image.png

 

"Samale & Mazzuca" completion version: Sieghart/Arnhem: 

https://open.qobuz.com/album/n9pj5277m91xc

https://tidal.com/browse/album/48415258

image.png

 

I must say, I found both of these versions to be quite attractive. While the Samale & Mazzuca version does tend to have a less Mahlerian feel to it, it's an outstanding recording on the Exton label. The Mazetti version is actually quite compelling, and seems to hew to a Mahlerian feel much like the Cooke.

 

Just like Dausgaard's version is actually Cooke III, the 3rd and final revision of Cooke's version published in 1976, Mazetti published a 2nd revision of his version after the Slatkin/St. Louis recording. There is a recording of that version, call it Mazetti II, by Jesus Lopez-Cobos/Cincinnati on Telarc, but I can't find it on streaming.

 

Still, both these versions were far more appealing than the Wheeler and Clinton completions, that I actually disliked.

 

When all is said and done though, I still find the Cooke III to be the most compelling completion version so far, and the Dausgaard to be the best performance and recording.

 

Tonight's plan: Barshai and Gamzou.

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I was able to get my hands on the Jesús López-Cobos/Cincinnati recording on Telarc. This is a Remo Mazzetti II completion.

 

Cover.jpg

 

This is a really fine recording, and a very enjoyable performance. While I'm no expert, I did find subtle differences between this version and the Mazzetti I completion on the Slatkin/St. Louis recording.

 

While this doesn't change my preference for the Cooke III completion, and the Dausgaard/Seattle performance, it does reinforce my conclusion that of all the other full orchestral completions of the 10th, only the Mazzetti has tickled my fancy. 

 

Other than Cooke III, which I will always prefer, I found the Mazzetti II and Castelletti chamber completions to be the only ones I also enjoyed. 

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