Saturday, July 1, 2017

Gustav Mahler - Symphony No. 10 (Rudolf Barshai)


Composer: Gustav Mahler
  1. Symphony No. 10 in F sharp major (Barshai's version): 1. Adagio
  2. Symphony No. 10 in F sharp major (Barshai's version): 2. Scherzo
  3. Symphony No. 10 in F sharp major (Barshai's version): 3. Purgatorio. Allegretto moderato
  4. Symphony No. 10 in F sharp major (Barshai's version): 4. Allegro pesante
  5. Symphony No. 10 in F sharp major (Barshai's version): 5. Finale

Junge Deutsche Philharmonie
Rudolf Barshai, conductor
Date: 2001
Label: Brillian Classics



"... You will have gathered that I think very highly of this new recording of the Tenth Symphony. If, like me, you believe it to be the performance that matters most in choosing a recording irrespective of which performing edition of the material is used I have a simple conclusion: that this may well be the finest performance of the Tenth on record and that you can buy it with confidence. If you do take into account performing editions, however, then things are a trifle more complicated. Put it this way: in terms of performing editions alone, I think that anyone who is coming entirely new to the Tenth Symphony should still hear Deryck Cooke’s more austere version first in a good recording and get to know that. There are a number of fine versions available. (Simon Rattle on EMI Classics 5569722, for example). But once that is done Barshai’s new version should be your next port of call where you will be given a subtly different perspective on the material, rather like the effect of a painting you have been used to being hung on one gallery wall now being hung on another with different light sources, background and frame. You will hear a rigorous, professional and consummate score with much to interest, provoke, move and inspire. You will not be without questions, though. You will not be without some surprises. But you will, I think, be impressed and moved. You will also hear in this recording a performance of the work the excellence of which is, in my opinion, not equalled in any of the recordings of the Cooke version and it is this belief which will keep the recording special to me.

This single recorded performance took place on September 12th 2001, the day after the tragedies in the United States, and some of the eloquence of what we hear surely must have been due to the players’ reactions to that. They play even better than they do in the Fifth with refinement and eloquence and a corporate élan that would be envied by great metropolitan orchestras. They are also served superbly by the engineers with sound of clarity and power but with a realistic concert perspective. All this from a bargain label only makes it more remarkable and Brilliant Classics should be proud of themselves for issuing this."

-- Tony Duggan, MusicWeb International

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Gustav Mahler (7 July 1860 – 18 May 1911) was an Austrian late-Romantic composer, and one of the leading conductors of his generation. As a composer he acted as a bridge between the 19th century Austro-German tradition and the modernism of the early 20th century. In his lifetime his status as a conductor was established beyond question, but his own music gained wide popularity only after periods of neglect. After 1945, Mahler became one of the most frequently performed and recorded of all composers. Mahler's œuvre is relatively small. Aside from early works, most of his are very large-scale works, designed for large orchestral forces, symphonic choruses and operatic soloists.


Rudolf Barshai (September 28, 1924 – November 2, 2010) was a Soviet and Russian conductor and violist. Barshai achieved fame as a musical interpreter and arranger of Shostakovich's and Prokofiev's music. He is particularly noted for his arrangements of Shostakovich's string quartets for chamber orchestra. In 2000, Barshai produced a performing version of Mahler's Tenth Symphony. He recorded a number of Shostakovich's works, among which was the widely praised world premiere recording of the composer's Fourteenth Symphony. Many of his recordings earned critical acclaim and won international awards.


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