Symphony No. 10 in F-Sharp Major – Introduction

Listening Guide


The Work

Date(s) of composition: 1910-11
Place(s) of composition: Toblach (and New York)

Performing Versions and Completions:
Ernst Kenek edited the first and third movements with the assistance of Alban Berg and Alexander Zemlinsky, published in 1924 by Paul Zsolnay, Vienna and first performed in Vienna on 14 October 1924 under the direction of Franz Schalk; five-movement performing versions have been created by Joseph H. Wheeler, Hans Wollschlägen, Clinton A. Carpenter, Deryck Cooke, Remo Mazzetti, Jr., Nicola H. Samale and Giueseppe Mazzuca, and Rudolf Barshai in various editions (Wollschlägen and Mazzetti having withdrawn their versions, although a recording has been made of the latter with the Saint Louis Symphony under Leonard Slatkin); the premiere of Cooke’s first version was given in London on 13 August 1964, the London Symphony under the direction of Berthold Goldschmidt, after a work-in-progress performance was given under his direction on 19 December 1960 with the Philharmonia Orchestra. Joe Wheeler’s version has been recently performed (January, 1997) for the first time in many years at the MahlerFest in Boulder, Colorado under the direction of Robert Olsen. A recording of this performance has recently been released. Carpenter’s latest version was recorded in 1995 by The Philharmonia Hungarica under the direction of Harold Farberman. The Barshai version was recorded on September 12, 2001 by the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie under the direction of Rudolf Barshai on the Brilliant Classics label.

Movements: The symphony was apparently conceived by Mahler in five movements but his intention as to the movements’ order is unclear. All the performing versions thus far have presented the work in the following order of movements:

(1) ADAGIO (Andante; Adagio)
(2) SCHERZO (Schnelle Viertel) (In a fast four-beat measure) [Cooke]
(In gemächlicher Bewegung. Ohne Hast.)
(In an easy-going motion, without haste) [Carpenter]
(3) PURGATORIO (Allegretto moderato)
(Unheimlich bewegt) (extremely agitated) [Carpenter and Mazzetti do not use this title]
(4) [SCHERZO] (Allegro pesante. Nicht zu schnell) (not too fast) [Cooke]
(Kräftig, nicht zu schnell) (Powerfully, not too fast) [Carpenter]
(5) FINALE (Langsam, schwer (Slow, heavy); Allegro moderato; sehr ruhig (very restful)) [Cooke]

(Cooke first performing version)
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Eugene Ormandy, conductor
(Sony Classical 82876-78742-2)
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