Mahler - Symphony No. 10 (Bernstein)

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Gustav Mahler
Symphony No 10, Unfinished

Wiener Philharmoniker
Leonard Bernstein


The Symphony No. 10 by Gustav Mahler was written in the summer of 1910, and was his final composition. At the time of Mahler's death the composition was substantially complete in the form of a continuous draft, but not fully elaborated or orchestrated, and thus not performable. Only the first movement is regarded as reasonably complete and performable as Mahler intended. Perhaps as a reflection of the inner turmoil he was undergoing at the time (Mahler knew he had a failing heart and his wife had been unfaithful), the 10th Symphony is arguably his most dissonant work.

Mahler started work on the Tenth Symphony in July 1910 in Toblach, and ended his efforts in September. He did not complete the orchestral draft before his death at the age of 50 from a streptococcal infection of the blood.

Mahler's drafts and sketches for the Tenth Symphony comprise 72 pages of full score, 50 pages of continuous short score draft (two of which are missing), and a further 44 pages of preliminary drafts, sketches, and inserts. In the form in which Mahler left it, the symphony has five movements:

1. Andante – Adagio: 275 bars drafted in orchestral and short score
2. Scherzo: 522 bars drafted in orchestral and short score
3. Purgatorio. Allegro moderato: 170 bars drafted in short score, the first 30 of which were also drafted in orchestral score
4. [Scherzo. Nicht zu schnell]: about 579 bars drafted in short score
5. Finale. Langsam, schwer: 400 bars drafted in short score


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Category: Classical
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