Work of the Week - Gustav Mahler / Yoel Gamzou: 10th Symphony

100 years will have passed since Gustav Mahler composed the final notes in short score of his unfinished 10th Symphony on Sunday 5th September 2010 and to mark the occasion, the Berlin Jewish Cultural Festival 2010 will present the world premiere of Yoel Gamzou’s reconstruction of the enigmatic masterpiece. Gamzou himself will conduct the International Mahler Orchestra which he founded in 2006 in a performance at the Rykestraße synagogue in Berlin.

The Mahler 10th project began in 2003. "After years of deep fascination and a very close emotional connection to Mahler's music (and to the 10th in particular), I embarked on an intensive research project into the work. It was both the mysterious aura of an unfinished Mahler symphony and the effect the Adagio had on me when I first heard it which drew me to the work, a magnet to many Mahlerians and a decades-old topic of incredible controversy. Only later I realised what effect this piece was going to take in my life and just how extraordinary this music is".

"Until now, what has been missing is a version of the 10th Symphony from the view point of a musician" says Gamzou. "In the past, people have approached it to either show off their own compositional ability or to try and advance the work as a theoretical exercise."

Apart from some additions in the counterpoint, Gamzou has not interfered with the composition and based the reconstruction completely on Mahler's music. "I have no compositional claims. My task lay solely in interpretation, adaption, and reconstruction. It had to sound like a real Mahler symphony." Thus, Gamzou leaves it to Mahler’s own words to his wife Alma to comment on the score: "To live for you! For you to die! Almschi!"

(09/01/2010)




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