Notes & Reviews:
This reading of the 1989 revision of Deryck Cooke's performing version is an impressive journey. By the finale, with its dramatic bass-drum death stroke and that exquisitely beautiful flute melody, we have been sucked into the vortex of the music's swirling psychological complexities, able to see not only Mahler's tragedies, fears and emotional vicissitudes, but also our own.
[This] is a powerfully wrought reading, which seems to gain in authority and conviction as it goes on - Harding's account of the finale is particularly impressive, so that it now seems one of the greatest, and bleakest, of all Mahler's symphonic movements. The opening Adagio, though, never quite generates the intensity one knows that it should, so that the agenda for all that follows is not made as distinct as it might be. Even the characterful playing of the Vienna Philharmonic, especially in the central three movements with their ghosts and distortions of the popular musics that haunt all of Mahler's output, can't quite compensate for that, so, for all its strengths, Harding's performance doesn't quite measure up to either Rattle's with the Berlin Philharmonic or Chailly's with the Berlin Radio.
Harding made his Philharmonic debut with this symphony in 2004, and you feel the team's mutual comfort the moment those questing viola phrases launch the epic adagio. He's wise enough not to stop the Viennese musicians from sounding Viennese. Their natural lilt brings major dividends in the fourth movement, where the waltz rhythms spin us into a neurotic nightmare. After this turn round the haunted ballroom, another high point arrives with the finale's flute solo, so tender and sad, underpinned in the orchestra by another exquisite Viennese touch - phrases hugged as though no one wants to let them go.
Throughout, the orchestral sound is striking, lighter in the ass than usual, with glorious horn-playing and burnished unanimity from frequently high-lying strings.
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Works DetailsMahler, Gustav : Symphony no 10 in F sharp major (realization by Deryck Cooke)
- Conductor: Daniel Harding
- Running Time: 77 min. 17 sec.
- Period Time: Post Romantic
- Form: Orchestral
- Written: 08/13/1964