At his death in 1911, Gustav Mahler left his Symphony No. 10 incomplete, though with most of the work composed in full score or sketched in short score, with indications of the intended orchestration. Notwithstanding the objections of conductors who thought the piece should not be reconstructed or played beyond the finished first movement, completions of the symphony have had varying degrees of success in concert and on recordings, notably in versions by Clinton Carpenter, Joe Wheeler, Remo Mazzetti, Jr., and Rudolf Barshai. However, the most performed by far is the completion by musicologist Deryck Cooke, which was revised several times before being published in 1989. Cooke never pretended that his performing version was the last word, and Mahler clearly would have finished the Tenth in a dramatically different manner. But Cooke was fairly conservative in his approach, consulting scholars over the best ways to fill in pages that only gave the barest suggestions of what Mahler had in mind. This live recording by Thomas Dausgaard and the Seattle Symphony presents a satisfying performance that sounds and feels like a late Mahler symphony, with its passages of soaring lyricism, brooding meditations, elaborate counterpoint, and strange mix of sardonic parody and beatific resignation. This is a worthy addition to the catalog of recordings of the Tenth, and Dausgaard has contributed to the growing consensus in favor of playing Cooke's version.
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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Symphony No. 10|