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A Question About Mahler Symphony #10

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Old 03-04-09, 12:21 AM
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Default A Question About Mahler Symphony #10

I have heard bits and pieces about Mahler's 10th symphony but I haven't ever gotten the complete picture.

As I understand it, he never finished the symphony and I think I read somewhere that some guy named Cooke finished it or wrote a version of it. Could someone fill in the blanks as to what Cooke did, and is this the version we normally hear today?? Thanks......
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Old 03-04-09, 03:23 AM
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Deryck Cooke's first effort was the "performing version," which premiered in 1960. [a.k.a.: Cooke I].

Cooke felt that his initial try could be improved upon, so with the help of Colin & David Matthews, he finished up the "finally revised perfoming version" (i.e.: Cooke II) <I guess this time, he really meant it>, which was first played in 1972. It is the most common version heard today.

The American Remo Mazzetti finished a complete Mahler 10 in 1985, and it was performed in full for the first time in 1989. He, too, had second thoughts on his opening attempt, and revised again in the late 90s, with his newer work first airing in 1999. Leonard Slatkin has championed the piece, and Jesus López-Cobos has a widely disseminated disc for this rendition (Telarc). It is probably the next most commonly heard version.

Joe Wheeler of England finished a version sometime in the 50s, and completists can find recordings of it, with some effort.

Versions by Clinton Carpenter (U.S.A.) and Hans Wollschlägger (Germany) currently languish in obscurity...
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Old 03-04-09, 11:23 AM
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According to Cooke, only the opening movement and the first scherzo were drafted in orchestral score by the time Mahler died. The rest was in various stages of completion, but there was at least a reliable short score and dozens of pages of sketches for the ones that Mahler didn't manage to orchestrate.

It's wrong to consider any of the working orchestral scores Chi lists above as "Mahler's Tenth." They're just speculative attempts to orchestrate Mahler's drafts for the symphony.

However, let's be careful not to dismiss the attempts as doomed from the start. I'm glad to be able to hear the ideas Mahler was working on when he died, and wonder what the work would have sounded like if he had survived to complete it.
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Old 25-08-09, 05:45 PM
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Default The greatness of Mahler '10'.

I remember playing the Cooke version at Southwark Cathedral in 1978 (World Cup final day - missed!). It made a hell of an impression on me considering the last three mvts are Cooke/Mahler rather than Mahler/Cooke. The last movement is really sublime, especially if you play the flute.

My conducting teacher's teacher, Berthold Goldschmidt also did a version, IIRC.
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Old 12-04-14, 04:20 AM
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I'm coming to this late, but....

the earliest attempt to make a performing version of Mahler 10 was by Joe Wheeler who begain in the late 1940s. His final (4th? 5th?) version was performed at the Colorado Mahlerfest in 1997 under Robert Olsen who recorded it in 2000 for Naxos.

Cooke's first version was the result of the BBC asking for a talk from him for the centenary year. As he examined the manuscript he realised that the work was essentially complete. What he prepared for performanece was incomplete and is usually referred to as Cooke 0. The complete 1960 broadcast, with Cooke's talk, piano illustrations and orchestral performance under Bethold Goldschmidt, has been release on Testament, with (IIRC) the first performance in 1964 of Cooke I...

Cooke I was the result of Alma Mahler's finally being persuaded (by Harold Byrns and Jerry Bruck) to listen to the tape of the 1960 BBC broadcast - which only happened after Bruno Walter, who was adamantly opposed, died - and making a number of missing pages of the ms. available to Cooke. ("I had not realised there was so much Mahler in it!" she said.) This was first performed IIRC in 1964 again under Goldschmidt. The only commercial recording was under Ormandy.

Cooke II was done with the brothers Matthews, premiered in 1972 and first recorded by Wyn Morris (1976?) Most commercial recordings are of this version.

There is also a Cooke III, which is virtually identical to Cooke II. AFAIK the only recording of this is the Wigglesworth which came with the BBC magazine.

Other versions: Remo Mazzetti's, who I believe has had two goes, the first recorded by Slatkin.

Clinton Carpenter's version(s) is(are) the most interventionist, he even drops in quotations from other Mahler symphonies. There is a really dull recording by Harold Fabermann and a much better by Litton.

Rudolf Barshai produced a version which I don't believe has been comercially recorded, nor has the Samale-Mazzuca (as in Bruckner 9) version. Franz Bouman produced a version for two pianos (not recorded) and Christopher White made a piano reduction of the Cooke (II?) version which he recorded himself.

The one thing that shines through all of these is that you are listening to the same piece, whichever version. There are differing details - orchestration, some counterpoint - but all are clearly the same symphony.

In short Mahler *did* finish the symphony, he jut didn't orchestrate all of it.

Would he have made changes? Of course, but then he made changes to all of his symphonies ater they had been performed for the first time.

Which leads one to conclude that the versions we have of Das Lied von der Erde and the Ninth, neither of which he ever heard, would almost certainly have undergone some revision had he lived.

And I for one, would not be without the 10th. It's a great symphony.
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Old 23-04-14, 10:38 AM
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This Wiki page (which seems reliable) is quite useful:
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Old 06-01-15, 04:44 AM
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I love the Mahler 10, always keeping in mind that it is only a "snapshot" of a work in progress—but a great work as it exists, nonetheless. It is an unworldly and strange work, even in its present form. The sound world and emotional content is different from any other Mahler symphony. (Of course that statement can be made of any Mahler symphony.)

The BBC Cooke III recording of this by Wigglesworth mentioned by dgrb is the recording I'm most familiar with, and the one I prefer. (I also have the Wheeler and Mazetti recordings, but have not done a lot of listening to them as yet.)

Mahler asked Alma to destroy the score after his death. And Bruno Walter was also firmly opposed to it's being published and performed. How good it is they didn't get their way on this one!
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