Mahler’s 10th Symphony/Philharmonic Hall
BRUCKNER, Elgar and Mahler all left symphonies unfinished at their deaths and all have since been completed by other hands.
Hopefully, this has been for musical rather than financial reasons, although when Mahler’s 10th Symphony, which he had wanted burnt, was released some 10 years after his death, there was a suspicion that his widow was feeling pressures on her income.
Several attempts have been made at what is termed realisation rather than completion, the most successful of which is by Deryck Cooke, to be heard tonight and Saturday at Hope Street.
The first movement was completed by Mahler and is often heard in the concert hall. Of the remaining four movements, the third and fifth needed most work to bring them to life. Whatever is achieved in reviving these works, I always have the unhappy feeling that the composer has been denied the benefit of second thoughts.
Vasily Petrenko conducts performances both tonight and Saturday and I recommend the pre-concert talks at 6pm each evening by Norman Lebrecht, who is a brilliant speaker on Mahler.
Mozart/ Sinfonia Verdi, St Alban’s Cathedral Choirs (Naxos)
THIS CD has two Missa Brevis of Mozart, sung by the Choir of St Alban’s Cathedral with the Sinfonia Verdi conducted by Andrew Lucas and the four soloists have the chance to shine in the Salve Regina.
Organist Tom Winpenny plays the great Allegro and Andante (Fantasia) in F minor. The contrasting short masses were written for use in Salzburg. Performance and recorded sound are exemplary, making a fine release at budget price.
Schumann: Piano Quintet, Piano Quartet, Marchenerzahlungen/ Fine Arts Quartet, Xiayin Wang (Naxos)
THESE are fine performances but both works being in E Flat Major could have avoided “key fatigue” by being separated by the Fairy Tale Variations for Violin, Viola and Piano, the four movements of which occupy the last 16 minutes of the disc. However, the listener can easily programme the music to improve his listening.
Zador/ Budapest Symphony Orchestra (Naxos)
THIS is the second CD of the orchestral music of Eugene Zadir, played once again by the Budapest Orchestra MTV under Mariusz Smolij.
Zador fled to Hollywood and spent his time orchestrating other people’s music for the silver screen while his own compositions were ignored. Now his music is being recorded and worthwhile it is. This includes an Oboe Concerto, a Divertimento for Strings and Studies for Orchestra all written within 25 years of his death in 1977.
This is 20th century music of a conservative kind and is very welcome at a modest price.