Yet another completion of Mahler’s 10th

Yet another completion of Mahler’s 10th


norman lebrecht

December 06, 2018

We think this is the 13th version  of the score, maybe the 14th.

The French conductor Frederic Chaslin has just given his own reconstruction of Mahler’s Tenth Symphony in Zagreb, with the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra.

In a pre-concert talk, he said he finished it last spring, but musicians say he was still making changes on the day of performance. A recording is planned next year in Vienna.


  • We value your privacy says:

    Nobody really needs them anymore, but they still keep coming. The completions of the Bruckner 9th are also legion by now (eight different versions at the very least). A very puzzling phenomenon.

    • John Borstlap says:

      But, in fact, entirely understandable. Late Mahler is one of the most interesting types of orchestral music, in all aspects, and it forms the latest tail of a long symphonic tradition with universalist ambitions. Today, there is a hunger in the orchestral circuit for this type of music of which, people feel, there is not enough. Yes, there is Shostakovich and Prokofiev, and now also Weinberg, but in comparison with Mahler that is quite onesided and rough. In Mahler there is still this yearning romanticism whih has gone from the world – in music, that is. And since contemporary composers are not able to create something in that tradition, people tinker with the last unfinished attempts, trying to blow some life in the dead ends. Also Elgar III is an example, recomposerd by Anthony Paine. Sometimes composers from that 1900 era are rediscovered but mostly their music appears to be too thin to be viable. And the most likely place where such tradition could be revived, is suffering under the pressure of nazi taboos. So, instead we have Lachenmann:

  • Robert Grown says:

    I’ve heard four or five completions, none but one (the Deryck Cooke one) quite matching was what I believe to be the true Mahler idiom. The Phil.Orch recording under Ormandy (the first, if I’m not mistaken) still does it for me. Next (if there has to be a next) is the Barshai.

  • Tom Varley says:

    It’s a pity Rosemary Brown is no longer around to complete it based on instructions provided through a direct connection to Mahler.

    • barry guerrero says:

      That’s pretty funny. But seriously, is any of her stuff any good? They say she does manage to write in the style of the various composers she’s ‘connected’ with.

      • John Borstlap says:

        Indeed she did. And some of ‘her’ pieces are entirely convincing, especially the ‘Grüberlei’ by Liszt (opus hyperposthumous). Nobody who isn’t Liszt could have written that piece since it is in a style in the perspective of L’s late piano pieces as if he had developed it further down the line.

  • The View from America says:

    The 13th time’s the charm.

  • Kevin Scott says:

    To date I have counted ten complete versions, eight for large orchestra (Cooke, Carpenter, Wheeler, Barshai, Mazzetti, Gamzou, Samale & Mazzuca, Kakamu) and two for chamber orchestra (Carvalho, Castelletti). If one counts wind band transcriptions of just the Adagio (one or two, I believe), fine, though I have yet to see a complete five-movement version for that kind of ensemble.

    Chaslin makes it number eleven in my book. Personally, I don’t see what one can do at this point, as Cooke remains the benchmark edition that many conductors gravitate towards if they believe in doing the five-movement version, though the versions by Barshai and Carpenter are becoming acceptable alternates among some conductors who feel that the Cooke is to “bald” in its approach.

    This respondent has a soft spot for two of the lesser-known versions, namely those by Gamzou and Carvahlo, and I have yet to see someone program the Kakamu version, which is very intriguing (one can download the score and a full set of parts on IMSLP). In the meantime, I await Michelle Castelletti’s version to be released on the BIS label, as well as Chaslin’s.

  • barry guerrero says:

    Personally, of the more filled out versions, I find the Samale-Mazzuca one very much to my liking. They seem to do more than just add a lot busy filigree. For example, they have by far the best ending to the first scherzo (movement II). I also think they do the back half of the finale better than anyone (movement V). It’s usually so limp and prostate sounding. Otherwise, Cooke II or III works fine for me (I actually prefer II).