Despite the advocacy of Walter and Mengelberg, both colleagues of Mahler in his lifetime, Mahler's music was not included in concert programs with any regularity until the revival of interest in his music which began in the 1950s. In Britain, for example, in all of Wood's Promenade Concerts from 1895 to 1937, the only Mahler symphony performed in full was the First, in 1903; Wood performed the Eighth in festival concerts in London in 1930 and 1938.
In America, Mahler was better represented, apart from the symphonies performed by Walter with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra after he took up residence in the United States in 1939. In the years 1881 to 1949, the Boston Symphony Orchestra programed the First Symphony three times, the Second four times, the first part of the Third once, the Fourth three times, the Fifth nine times, the Seventh once, the Ninth four times, and Das Lied von der Erde four times. LEOPOLD STOKOWSKI, who had been present at the first performance of the Eighth Symphony in Munich in September 1910, conducted by Mahler himself, at that time thought "it one of the greatest compositions of the twentieth century" 411 (which, of course, was then only ten years old). In 1916 Stokowski conducted the symphony's American premiere with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and that year he also led the American premiere of Das Lied von der Erde.
There were also some remarkable pioneering recordings of Mahler symphonies before World War II in the United States, on 78 r.p.m. discs. Ormandy and the Minneapolis Orchestra (c. 1935) recorded the Second Symphony at a public concert, and later Mitropoulos, conducting the same orchestra, recorded the First. Current then in the international catalogues were single-disc recordings of the Adagietto of the Fifth, by Walter and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and by Mengelberg and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra. Also available were the recordings made at concerts by Walter with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra of Das Liedvon der Erde von der Erde (with soprano Kerstin Thorborg and tenor Charles Kullman, 1936) and the Ninth Symphony ( 1938). None of these was the first recording of a Mahler symphony; that occurred in 1924 and was by Fried, who had directed all the Mahler symphonies at a cycle in Vienna in 1920. In the same year Mengelberg conducted a similar cycle in Amsterdam.
In the United States the revival of interest in Mahler's music was greatly accelerated by recordings of the Second, Fourth, and Fifth Symphonies by Walter with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Later Walter also recorded the First and Ninth Symphonies with the Columbia Symphony Orchestra. Then two conductors recorded the complete nine symphonies: the first was Abravanel with the Utah Symphony Orchestra, followed by Bernstein with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. By that time the Mahler boom had taken off. In Britain it was the performance by Horenstein in 1959 of the Eighth Symphony for the British Broadcasting Corporation that was the crucial event. In continental Europe, Mahler's music had been proscribed by the Nazis--that is, from 1933 to 1945 in Germany; Karajan said that he, for one, was familiar with Mahler from Walter's performances in Vienna before the Nazi occupation of Austria in 1938-" Mahler, Webern, Schoenberg were our daily bread" 412 --but he himself did not conduct the music until the latter part of his life. After World War II, conductors could resume performing the Mahler symphonies in Europe, but in much of the world the symphonies soon became familiar with the coming of the LP record. In the Soviet Union, performances of Mahler became common in the 1970s. Today virtually every conductor has to have at least some of the symphonies in his repertoire, and in addition to Abravanel and Bernstein, other conductors have recorded or are recording the entire nine, including Kubelik, Haitink, Solti, Levine, Inbal, Tennstedt, Abbado, and Maazel.
What caused Mahler's music to be neglected for fifty years? LEONARD BERNSTEIN has pointed out that the reason is not because the music is too long, or too difficult, or too bombastic. The cause, he believed, is that Mahler saw death. According to Bernstein, Mahler saw three kinds of death:
First his own imminent death, of which he was acutely aware. Second, the death of tonality, which meant for him the death of music as he knew it and loved it. Finally, his third and most important vision: the death of society, of our Faustian culture. 413
A younger conductor, CLAUDIO ABBADO, also recognized this element in Mahler: "It would be impossible to conduct Mahler without thinking about death, because it's in the music. So much of his music is about death, and sometimes about suicide." 414
Many conductors have attempted to explain why Mahler's music now has such an enormous attraction. The two closest to Mahler in his lifetime, Walter and Klemperer, were quite clear on this point. OTTO KLEMPERER said: "I think after two world wars, one feels more the uncertainty, the questioning, enshrined in his music. We understand its schizophrenia" 415 BRUNO WALTER saw that
The supreme value of Mahler's work lies not in the novelty of its being intriguing, daring, adventurous, or bizarre, but rather in the fact that the novelty was transformed into music that is beautiful, inspired, and profound, that it possesses the lasting values of high creative artistry and a deeply significant humanity. These keep it alive today, these guarantee its future. 416
The contemporary conductor CHRISTOPH VON DOHNANYI is more specific:
Mahler was the first composer who somehow meets a democratic social structure. He can be enjoyed by people both with and without an education. In a very extensive way he has a certain style of music-making which can be misunderstood tremendously. Someone who is educated by magazines, a Reader's Digest education, can enjoy Mahler. But I believe that if you don't know everything that was important in his time-Schreker, Zemlinsky, Klimt, Schiele, Kokoshka--you cannot really understand Mahler. If you are just exposed to Mahler without knowledge of Mahler, people can enjoy it. 417
LORIN MAAZEL too adds his explanation:
Everyone, obviously, is sometimes despondent or melancholy, and so was Mahler. Still, his music is full of humour and irony, traits that are often misunderstood. Also his music is often light, open, uncomplicated, and charming. . . . [He] was very sane and well-balanced, both as man and artist. His sanity, humour and many other facets are delightfully and richly expressed in his music. 418
PIERRE BOULEZ considered that the reason for the fascination with Mahler today is his hypnotic ability to project a vision that passionately embraces the end of an era, "an era which inexorably had to wilt away so that another could be born in its place." 419
FELIX WEINGARTNER, a contemporary of Mahler, was especially attracted to Mahler's first four symphonies which, he said, "contain, in greater abundance than the later ones, pearls and precious gems." He went on to say:
But everything he wrote bears the stamp of strong feeling, rich imagination and a glowing, almost fanatical enthusiasm which still compels our sympathy even when, instead of controlling it, he allows himself to be completely carried away by it. 420 However, ARTURO TOSCANINI was antipathetic to Mahler's music. After hearing the Fourth Symphony, he said: "Was crazy man! Fourth Symphony terrible!," 421 and after studying the score of the Fifth Symphony, he compared him unfavorably with Tchaikovsky and Richard Strauss. 422 PIERRE MONTEUX, too, said that he never cared for Mahler's music. "I feel most of it is contrived," he remarked. 423
RICHARD STRAUSS was a close friend of Mahler, but his attitude to the latter's music was ambiguous, as indeed was Mahler's to Strauss's music. After he had heard the first performance of the Fourth Symphony in Berlin, Strauss said that he could never have written such an Adagio. 424 HANS VON BÜLOW, the great nineteenth-century conductor, said after Mahler had played for him the first movement of the Second Symphony on the piano: "The music from Tristan is child's play compared to yours!" 425
As mentioned above, Walter and Klemperer were close to Mahler during his lifetime and witnessed performances of the symphonies conducted by the composer. Nonetheless, their own subsequent interpretations of Mahler's music are vastly different, which is evident from their recordings. Walter's have a marvellous balance between energy and sentiment, Klemperer's are straightforward, as if allowing the music completely to speak for itself. When asked why there was this difference, KLEMPERER answered: "Walter's Mahler is too Jewish for me." 426
BERNSTEIN's Mahler performances have also been accused of being too much on the side of subjective expression. Responding to this criticism, he said:
People are always saying that I exaggerate Mahler, which is so stupid, because you cannot exaggerate Mahler enough! To play a Mahler symphony you have to give it your whole heart and body and soul and everything. 427
Bernstein also tried to account for the attraction Mahler's music had for him:
I can't figure out his enormous attraction for me. I think it's the innocence opposed to the sophistication. He spent his life trying to recapture that terrible thing called childhood. All those first experiences--the first time one hears church bells, and so on. Never again. There comes a time when nothing is a first any more. 428
" Mahler was a prophet," said KLAUS TENNSTEDT, "writing not for his own time but for our own." 429 He pointed out the necessity to identify completely with Mahler when conducting the symphonies.
With Mahler, perhaps more than any other composer, you have to change your conception with your life. No composer's life was more closely bound up with his music than Mahler's--Mahler's music is his life--any change in your own life, in your own physical or mental state at the time will reflect on your performance of the music. 430
Tennstedt said on another occasion that a conductor's relationship with Mahlermust be the best:
We will always have to conduct composers we're not so keen on--you may like Grieg or Tchaikovsky, or Saint-Saëns, or whoever--but for one composer this will not do. It will not do for Mahler. One must believe in Mahler, wholeheartedly proclaim one's allegiance, to be able to interpret him. 431
ZUBIN MEHTA agrees on the necessity for the conductor to understand Mahler the man: "Mahler is one of those composers whose everyday life greatly affected the content of their work, and about whom it's vital to know a great deal." 432 BERNARD HAITINK believes that one should not perform Mahler's symphonies too frequently. While from a conductor's point of view he is always fascinating, "there are dangers in over-indulgence." 433 Also, Haitink does not consider Mahler a symphonist in the accepted meaning of the word. To him Mahler was a composer of songs, and while "he wrote symphonies of immense scope, still the song is always the germinating factor." 434
BERNSTEIN also recognized the importance of song in Mahler's music:
Many of these songs turn out to be the very core, the seeds and the roots of his gigantic symphonies. So much essential Mahler personality is buried in these songs. What's so specially fascinating about it all is that in spite of the fact that Mahler never actually quoted any of these songs after the Fourth Symphony, the spirit of these songs remains musically inherent in all the half dozen symphonies that followed, and in countless different ways. 435
Not all conductors have elected to perform all of Mahler's symphonies. Walter restricted his choice to the First, Second, Fourth, Fifth, and Ninth, believing the others were too difficult for the public, at least at the time when he was conducting them. KLEMPERER certainly did not like everything Mahler wrote; he conducted the Second, Fourth, Seventh, and Ninth Symphonies and Das Lied von der Erde. He said that he once conducted the First Symphony but did not "like at all the last movement." 436 Klemperer also asked himself whether Mahler's music would survive:
This is an unanswerable question. I believe myself that his Second and Eighth Symphonies and all his songs will survive, but what will live on, first and foremost, is his personality, his purity of thought, his integrity and the exacting demands he made on his associates. 437 Other present-day conductors, including Mehta, Maazel, and Giulini, are selective too in their preferences with the symphonies. MEHTA believes that some of the middle ones (the Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh) should have a rest. While he did not wish to be misunderstood, he added: "Everything Mahler wrote is not so sacrosanct as [the layman may] think, and after all we don't perform everything Beethoven wrote." 438 the other hand, MAAZEL in 1975 expressed reservations about the Third and Eighth, but had grown close to the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Ninth, and Tenth. 439 Later in 1985 he said that it had taken him twenty years really to come to know, understand and love the music of Mahler. 440 CARLO MARIA GIULINI conducts only the First, Fourth, and Ninth: "If I conduct, I must be able to do it with conviction. I cannot do it otherwise." 441 He recorded the First Symphony, most spectacularly, with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Some critics remarked that his performance was an Italianate view of the work, as if this were a shortcoming. This puzzled Giulini, who said that he had lived in the Italian Tyrol, where he had seen and heard the same sights and sounds as did Mahler. 442
The difficulty for the conductor presented with Mahler, observed SIR GEORGE SOLTI, is to achieve a formal clarity, which is very essential: "that you don't lose the thread, that you know when you start the symphonic movement, and you know how the symphony ends." Otherwise, if you lose this battle, the piece becomes short episodes one after another. But, he added, "you have to conduct a great deal until you at least establish for yourself a Mahler symphony image," how the First Symphony should sound, the Second, and so on. "Each one has a very particular sound image." 443
Some conductors, including Levine and Inbal, have drawn attention to the unity of all the nine (or ten) symphonies. JAMES LEVINE has remarked that Mahler appears to have been composing one piece all his life, and that if you pick any two neighboring symphonies you will invariably find important motivic material in common between them. It is almost as though he had taken something, say, from the Fourth Symphony and used it in the Fifth. ELIAHU INBAL sees the symphonies, and Das Lied von der Erde, as one single symphony in several chapters. 444 "One symphony has the next within itself. One cannot interpret one symphony satisfactorily without knowing what precedes it and what follows." 445 DANIEL BARENBOIM pointed out that Mahler was not part of the normal evolution of the so-called German tradition, finding more of Berlioz in him than is generally realized. "This does not only relate to the colours of the instruments but also to the spirit of the music--a certain sense of craziness that Mahler shares with Berlioz." 446
Turning to each of the symphonies separately, one observes that the First is probably the most frequently performed and certainly the most recorded today. (In the fall 1991 edition of Opus, the First lists 45 record-ings, the Second 33, the Third 14, the Fourth 29, the Fifth 33, the Sixth 16, the Seventh 9, the Eighth 9, the Ninth 23, and the complete Tenth 6.) WALTER called the First Symphony Mahler "Werther," after Goethe anguished hero in the novel The Sorrows of Young Werther. "There a heart-rending experience," wrote Walter, "finds artistic release. . . . A mood born of recollection and of present feeling produces themes and affects the whole shape of the musical development without breaking the musical context. This self-contained composition becomes a personal message from the heart." 447 BERNARD HAITINK has said that the symphony never bores him, because it is such a fresh start of a symphonic cycle. 448 INBAL has pointed out that in the symphony all the elements typical of Mahler's language are present. This is especially apparent in the third movement (the funeral march) where the trumpet melody seems to be the origin of the ambiguity of Mahler's language, when it uses something ugly and commonplace as an aesthetic element in the music, thereby undermining the sublime. 449
The first version of the First Symphony contained an additional movement, the "Blumine" or Flower, which Mahler later omitted from the final published score. Some conductors (including Ormandy and Mehta) have recorded the first version with this movement. However, GIULINI would never consider performing it, saying: "I respect the composer too much to go against his will. If a man like Mahler writes something, plays it, ponders it, and then decides to make a change, I think one should respect the decision. It can be interesting, of course, to see occasionally what his original ideas were. But that does not mean they must be incorporated in modern performances contrary to the composer's wishes." 450 Giulini also observed that Mahler cannot be performed as one would play, say, Brahms; in fact, he said, "one cannot even play the Ninth as one plays the First. It is a matter of trying to understand the conception. Mahler demands a special sound, a special reception of mood and structure. Mahler demands special attention." 451 HERBERT VON KARAJAN too considered the interpretation of Mahler especially difficult: "You have to be so careful. If you go too far it can become nearly kitsch. The frontier is very narrow." 452 But Karajan, like Klemperer, did not include the First Symphony in his repertoire.
GIUSEPPE SINOPOLI offered a description of the First Symphony which is, to say the least, controversial:
The Mahler First is about the loss of nature. In Mahler, there is a feeling of nature as the moment in childhood where everything is in order, and the feeling of loss because as life progresses it moves farther and farther from the natural state. Once you begin to stray, the conflict begins. And what Mahler is saying here is, Come back. 453 The Second Symphony (the "Resurrection") is one of the great monuments of music, ranking almost with Beethoven's Ninth in the festival nature of its performances. HAITINK pointed out that the symphony should not be played too often: "I'm beginning to think there should be an embargo on performances of these works." 454 He felt that Mahler had become something of an addiction and that the composer had become over-exposed. One of Haitink's friends told him that he had been to a concert to hear the "Resurrection" symphony and had wept all the way through it. "What one earth is this all about?" exclaimed Haitink. "Is this still music, or are we going to a sort of psychiatric session? I'm a great admirer of Mahler, of course, but sometimes I fear that it is for false reasons that people go so often to that kind of music." 455
WALTER, whose recording of the Second Symphony was the first on LP, where it stands unexcelled even today, compared the symphony with the First, saying that its world in the first three movements is one of "mere backgrounds of moods without any continuity of thought, without constant influence of emotions on the music, which lives its own life: it has dissolved mood, feeling, thought, into itself and transformed them into music." 456 But the first movement, to Walter, is "surely one of the most powerful symphonic compositions." 457 He recalled that Mahler called the second movement a happy episode in the life of the hero, whose funeral rites were depicted in the first movement. In the third movement "the wild chaos of existence is seen as unreal, ghostly." In the fifth movement the Last Judgment dominates Mahler's imagination, after the "impenetrable flood of tone, woven of moods" of Urlicht, the fourth movement. "With the sublime music into which Mahler transformed Klopstock's poem on the Resurrection he answers for the first time the sorrow, the doubt, the questions that wrung his soul." 458
INBAL considers that the second movement of the Second Symphony, the scherzo, strengthens the impression of the ugly and the commonplace side by side with the sublime. He also sees "the colossal quality of the cosmic element in evidence" in the Third Symphony, which "has no equivalent in the history of music before Mahler." The first movement, he comments, is marvellous, and he accepts the naive and childish side of Mahler, "who is seeking ways of being taken seriously." Then, in the final movement, Inbal finds for the first time "a really great adagio, which is the central axis of Mahler's music." 459 MICHAEL TILSON THOMAS sees this final movement as the achievement of Mahler's quest for peace, though, he says, "you can sense that he has the goal in sight right from the start . . . you're going to end up in a very hushed, tranquil land." 460 MEHTA finds conducting the Third Symphony especially tiring, because of its intensity--"it drains everybody." 461
Walter described the Fourth Symphony as a fairy tale, where the "thundering vision proclaimed by the prophet" of the Third Symphony is "now confirmed by an angel's gentle voice. Earth has been left behind and a blissful exultation colours the music." 462 INBAL points out that the mood of the adagio of the Third Symphony is found again in the third movement of the Fourth Symphony: "sublime beauty without doubt, but steeped in doubt and painful protest." He finds in this movement much of the atmosphere of the last quartets of Beethoven. Altogether, to Inbal, the Fourth is "wonderfully beautiful," for all that it is only an introduction to the Fifth, as in the first movement of the Fourth there appears suddenly the theme of the funeral march of the Fifth. 463
The Fifth Symphony, remarked MEHTA, is "like Mahler's Eroica, an abstract piece of work." 464 INBAL calls it the most Mahlerian of Mahler's symphonies, 200 percent Mahler, with the scherzo the most scherzo-ish of Mahler. He sees it as one of the most difficult works to conduct in the whole symphonic repertoire. 465 KARAJAN said that after the first two movements of the symphony, there is the third, which is the most difficult movement to play, and in the last two movements "all one can do is let the movement flow.""I think," said Karajan, "that there is great tragedy in Mahler, and a great tragic sense," while "his gaiety is often more [contrived]." 466
WALTER discussed the Fifth Symphony often with Mahler, and wrote that "nothing in my talks, not a single note of the work, suggests that any intrinsic thought or emotion entered into its composition." It is pure music, "passionate, wild, heroic, exuberant, fiery, solemn, tender, it covers the whole gamut of feeling." Not even from a distance are we aware of any metaphysical questions crossing the music's course. 467 MAAZEL has pointed out that the last movement of the work is simply a rondo with a happy theme: "It bubbles along, it is uncomplicated, happy and just what it is supposed to be: a simple, joyous statement." However, many wellintentioned interpreters have made of it a dreadful corruption of its intention, he said, seeing in it "some great fantastical mechanical 'Clockwork Orange' of a statement." 468
After the premiere of the Fifth Symphony, TOSCANINI obtained a copy of the score, and later described his reaction:
I read it immediately, or rather devoured it--but unfortunately, during this ferocious musical meal, the initial joy and curiosity gradually waned, changing in the end into a sad, very sad hilarity. Believe me, Mahler is not a genuine artist. His music has neither personality or genius. . . . At every step you fall, not into a commonplace, but into some triviality. . . . Add to this technical difficulty and exaggerated proportions. 469
KARAJAN said that he liked the Sixth Symphony more than the Fifth: "The finale alone is so gigantic!" He saw in it the collapse of a culture and a forewarning of everything that was to come. "But," he added, "it has always been the privilege of genius to know these things before other men." 470 TENNSTEDT thinks the Sixth Symphony "a terrible thing," and agrees with Karajan that in it Mahler was a prophet. "He knew nothing of the wars that were to come. How could he? But, during his time in Vienna he saw the beginnings of the Jewish persecution--and somehow in his music we feel he is foretelling the future." 471 HAITINK considers the real Mahler to be expressed in the Sixth and Ninth Symphonies, not so much in the Second and Third. The Sixth is not so easy to understand, "but the finale is an incredible music, and the first movement of the Ninth is a masterstroke." 472 INBAL thinks the Sixth difficult to interpret because you have at the same time to bring out the optimistic and happy side without losing sight of the terribly anguished and tragic side. 473
WALTER recognized too that the Sixth Symphony is "bleakly pessimistic." To him "it reeks of the bitter taste of the cup of life. In the last movement, its motto might be 'Existence is a burden; death is desirable and life hateful.'" Walter saw in the last movement with its mounting tensions and climaxes a resemblance to the huge waves of a sea that will overwhelm and destroy the ship. "The work ends in hopelessness and the night of the soul. . . . The 'other world' is not glimpsed for a moment." 474
KLEMPERER, who was present at the first performance of the Seventh Symphony in Prague, commented that while the middle movements "are deeply affecting in their simplicity," the first and last are still difficult, even today. 475 But the Seventh is TENNSTEDT'S favorite Mahler symphony, especially the first movement, which he believes is perhaps the greatest movement Mahler ever wrote, as well as the Nachtmusiken, the middle movements. The last movement to Tennstedt is the most difficult to conduct, from both the musical and the technical points of view; in fact the entire symphony poses great technical problems for the conductor. 476 INBAL considers that the problem of the last movement, from the conductor's point of view, is to understand its "very delicate ambiguity," as it is full of "astonishing irony and remoteness." It is, he says, wrongly considered the least successful of the Mahler symphonies. 477 MEHTA agreed that the symphony is a problem:
It's such a gargantuan, monstrous piece--I think it's just about the hardest piece written for orchestra. In the first movement the musicians haven't an idea which part of the movement they're playing: by the time they've played the third theme of the introduction they think they're already in the middle of the development! To be honest I'm scared of the Seventh. The Ninth is much simpler. There are contemporary works that are as technically difficult but this is all that plus philosophy as well--what does it all mean? 478 After the Seventh, conductors have turned to the Eighth with relief. Said TENNSTEDT: "This is not a symphony for the intellect. It is open, innocent, late-romantic music. Mahler wants you to make music, that's all." 79 MEHTA called the symphony the easiest to conduct and the simplest to interpret. 480 WALTER recognized its optimism: "No other work expresses so fully the impassioned 'yes' to life," 481 although INBAL called it "a sort of very developed attempt to construct this optimism which definitely cannot be grasped." 482 SEIJI OZAWA claims that the Eighth is not really a symphony, and that it is two separate pieces, the first in Latin, and the second a play on "Faust" in German. "But it is not a religious piece." 483
STOKOWSKI, who was present at the first performance in Munich in 1910, noted that Mahler was continually changing the scoring of the Eighth Symphony: "He practically composed it, or recomposed it, in the rehearsals, much to the annoyance of the players in the orchestra. He would stop them and take the part and write it another way and rehearse them in the new way. They didn't like that very much but the results were inspired." 484 Much later KLEMPERER said that at a rehearsal of the symphony Mahler had said that, after his death, anyone would be welcome to alter any part of the work which sounded wrong. 485 In his lifetime, Mahler gave authority to Walter, Mengelberg, and Fried to alter the orchestration of his symphonies when demanded by the acoustics of the halls or the qualities of the orchestras performing them.
To some conductors the Ninth Symphony is the greatest of the canon. GIULINI said that he had a special feeling for the work but found it the most difficult to record, because of its dynamics, counterpoint, and intensity, which is deep and direct. 486 In the symphony, said INBAL, Mahler accepted his destiny, knowing that the beauty and peace he had been seeking all his life he would never be able to reach. In the last movement, Inbal added, all the Mahlerian conflicts are resolved, and Mahler reaches serenity for the first time in his life. "It is the summation of the symphonic development which started with the First Symphony." 487 It was, wrote WALTER, Mahler's most personal utterance, "perhaps the most personal utterance in music. It is inspired by intense spiritual agitation, the sense of departure." 488 To BERNSTEIN the last page of the Ninth is the greatest page the composer ever wrote, and "comes closest to anything in all art, literature, poetry and painting, to portraying the act of dying, the actual experience of letting go, little by little." 489 But while it is a sonic presentation of death itself, Bernstein said that it paradoxically reanimates us every time we hear it. 490
Mahler did not complete his Tenth Symphony, but from the surviving sketches, Deryck Cooke (and others) has completed a performing version. TENNSTEDT is impressed by the new direction Mahler's music took with this symphony, after the seeming finality of the Ninth: he comments on "its mystic sound pattern at certain moments," adding that it paved the way for what other composers would do in the future. But Tennstedt points out that Cooke's version is nothing more than an interesting experiment, and when we realize how much Mahler revised his scores after they had been tried out in the orchestra and how much he altered them after he had performed the works with different orchestras, "you begin to realise how much he would have discarded of these sketches, how much he would have re-thought his scoring. I am sure that the conception of the Tenth would have developed greatly had he lived." 491 RAFAEL KUBELIK took this further: "After long and careful study, I cannot believe that the symphony would have turned out quite like that, had Mahler finished it. He changed a great deal as he wrote his symphonies and nobody can really tell what the completed work would have been like. One simply cannot put oneself into Mahler's mind." Kubelik believes the sketches are too incomplete from which to concoct a true Mahler symphony. 492 For BERNSTEIN, the Tenth remains only the one complete movement, the Adagio, "another heartbreaking Adagio saying farewell"; he felt the symphony could never have been completed by Mahler, even if he had lived, as he had said it all in the Ninth Symphony. 493
Many other conductors have no reservations about performing or recording the Tenth Symphony, in Cooke's arrangement. Ormandy was the first, followed by Levine, Sanderling, Rattle, and Chailly. The work fascinated them despite any misgivings about whether it represented Mahler's final thoughts about his music, principally because it showed Mahler moving in another direction after the seemingly terminal Ninth. "We have to have the whole of the Tenth--the work is so utterly unbelievable; that big step past what he'd been able to do before," 494 said LEVINE. RICCARDO CHAILLY went further, remarking that Cooke's version of the symphony has been an obsession to him: "I love it completely. I think it is sensational music from beginning to end and I think Cooke performed marvels, particularly in the way he clearly explored the instrumentation of the Ninth before filling out the orchestration of the Tenth." But, Chailly added, "I think you have an obligation to understand the Adagio of the Ninth before you conduct the Tenth." 495
INBAL has the view that the Tenth is in some respects a repetition of the Ninth, but to him it is less successful. "One feels the influence of Schoenberg in it. He has tried to do something 'modern' with all these complicated and changing measures of the scherzo, to which I much prefer the chords of the first movement, which were admirably inspired." Inbal observed that before he conducted many of Mahler's other symphonies, he enjoyed conducting the Tenth. However, he then could not identify himself with the score, despite its extraordinary beauties. He could not believe that it was Mahler's work, except for the first movement, which he took to be exactly as Mahler had left it. "For me," he said, "it is clear that the truth of this work lies in its very incompleteness." 496
ERICH LEINSDORF took up the point of Mahler's constant revision of his scores while his symphonies were being rehearsed and later in performance. When Mahler heard the problems of each orchestra he conducted, he made practical adjustments in parts and score, and as a result it is not possible to know exactly which of his markings were ad hoc editings and which were due to miscalculations in writing the orchestration. Leinsdorf then believes that it can never be established what was Mahler's original conception of balance in any particular work. 497
Mahler composed Das Lied von der Erde after the Eighth Symphony, but avoided naming it the Ninth, which came later. The work was given its first performance by WALTER after Mahler's death; when Mahler gave him the score of the work, he studied it and "lived through days of a most violent mental upheaval. I was profoundly moved by that uniquely passionate, bitter, yet resigned, and benedictory sound of farewell and departure, that last impression of one upon whom rested the finger of death." 498 HAITINK comments that Das Lied is "one of the most personal works of Mahler, combining the intimate side and the more dramatic things which the orchestra underlines so heavily." But, Haitink adds, "it should not become a repertory piece, and should be left for special occasions. Ideally, however, Das Lied needs two tenors, as a Heldentenor is needed for the first song and a light lyric tenor for the rest." 499 Just before his own death, HORENSTEIN said: "One of the saddest things about leaving this world is not to hear Das Lied von der Erde any more!" 500
KLEMPERER once compared Mahler the conductor with Toscanini: " Toscanini was the greatest conductor of his generation, but Mahler was a hundred times greater." He added:
Toscanini's performances, especially his Beethoven, were sometimes very disputable. But Mahler, never. I heard him several times. The first time was at the Vienna Opera in the second and third acts of Die Walküre, and then in concerts in Prague, where he conducted a number of things, including the Meistersinger prelude, the overture to The Bartered Bride and Beethoven's Seventh Symphony. It was phenomenal. For me there was only one thought: to give up this profession, if one couldn't conduct like that. . . . everything was absolutely natural. It had to be like that. One heard, and said, "Yes, of course, it's right." I still remember the opening of the second movement of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony: it sounded quite different, but I could absolutely say "yes" to it. When he conducted you felt it couldn't be better, and it couldn't be otherwise. That isn't the case with other conductors: with one you have this reservation, with the other that, but you don't feel completely comfortable. With Mahler never. 501
411. Oliver Daniel, Stokowski: A Counterpoint of View ( New York: Dodd Mead, 1982), 156.
412. Conversations with Karajan, ed. Richard Osborne ( Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), 117.
413. Leonard Bernstein, The Unanswered Question ( Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1976), 317.
414. Helena Matheopoulos, Maestro--Encounters with Conductors of Today ( London: Hutchinson, 1982), 100.
415. Interview with Alan Blyth, Gramophone ( London), May 1970, 1748.
416. Bruno Walter, Gustav Mahler, trans. Lotte Walter Lindt ( New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1968) 144.
417. Interview in Gramophone ( London), June 1989, 21.
418. Interview with Mortimer H. Frank, Fanfare, January/February 1985, 114.
419. Pierre Boulez, introduction to Rizzoli, Gustav Mahler in Vienna ( New York: International Publications, 1976).
420. Felix Weingartner, "The Symphony Since Beethoven," trans. H. M. Schott , in Weingartner on Music & Conducting ( New York: Dover, 1969), 283.
421. B. H. Haggin, Conversations with Toscanini ( New York: Doubleday, 1959), 77-78.
422. Harvey Sachs, Toscanini ( London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1978), 8889.
423. Doris Monteux, It's All in the Music ( London: William Kimber, 1966), 69).
424. Otto Klemperer, Minor Recollections ( London: Dobson, 1964), 21.
425. Ibid., 19.
426. Walter Legge, "Otto Klemperer," Gramophone ( London), January 1974, 1353.
427. Helena Matheopoulos, Maestro--Encounters with Conductors of Today ( London: Hutchinson, 1982), 16.
428. Interview with Edward Seckerson, Gramophone ( London), August 1988, 258.
429. Norman Lebrecht, The Maestro Myth ( London: Simon and Schuster, 1991), 239.
430. Interview with Stephen Seckerson, Gramophone ( London), March 1987, 1238.
431. Norman Lebrecht, The Maestro Myth ( London: Simon and Schuster, 1991), 239.
432. Helena Matheopoulos, Maestro-Encounters with Conductors of Today ( London: Hutchinson, 1982), 347.
433. Interview with Alan Blyth, Gramophone ( London), January 1974, 1357.
434. Bernard Jacobson, Conductors on Conducting ( London: Macdonald and Jane's, 1979), 128.
435. Bernstein on Mahler, Information paper issued by Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft, 1989, 2.
436. Conductors in Conversation, ed. Robert Chesterman ( London: Robson, 1990), 108-9.
437. Otto Klemperer, Minor Recollections ( London: Dobson, 1964), 22.
438. Interview with Alan Blyth, Gramophone ( London), August 1974, 347.
439. Interview with Alan Blyth, Gramophone ( London), November 1973, 901.
440. Interview with Katharine Copeserow, Records & Recordings, December 1985, 735.
441. Interview with Martin Bernheimer, Los Angeles Times Calendar, March 23, 1975, 64.
442. Interview with author, July 19, 1977.
443. Conductors in Conversation, ed. Robert Chesterman ( London: Robson, 1990), 47.
444. Conductors in Conversation, ed. Robert Chesterman ( London: Robson, 1990), 167.
445. Interview in Diapason-Harmonie, trans. Elise Holmes, Paris, April 1986, 40-41.
446. Daniel Barenboim, A Life in Music ( London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1991), 139.
447. Bruno Walter, Gustav Mahler, trans. Lotte Walter Linde ( New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1968), 120.
448. Bernard Jacobson, Conductors on Conducting ( London: Macdonald and Jane's, 1979), 149.
449. Interview in Diapason-Harmonie, trans. Elise Holmes, Paris, April 1986, 40-41.
450. Interview with Martin Bernheimer, Los Angeles Times Calendar, March 23, 1975, 64.
452. Interview with Richard Osborne, Gramophone ( London), April 1978, 1687.
453. Norman Lebrecht, The Maestro Myth ( London: Simon and Schuster, 1991), 229.
454. Interview with Alan Blyth, Gramophone ( London), January 1974, 1357.
455. Interview with Stephen Johnson, Gramophone ( London), October 1987, 536.
456. Bruno Walter, Gustav Mahler, trans. Lotte Walter Linde ( New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1968), 123-27.
457. Bruno Walter, Theme and Variations ( London: Hamish Hamilton, 1947), 86.
458. Bruno Walter, Gustav Mahler, trans. Lotte Walter Linde ( New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1968), 123-27.
459. Interview in Diapason-Harmonie, trans. Elise Holmes, April 1986, 40-41.
460. Interview with Stephen Johnson, Gramophone ( London), October 1988, 561.
461. Interview with Alan Blyth, Gramophone ( London), January 1978, 1243.
462. Bruno Walter, Gustav Mahler, trans. Lotte Walter Linde ( New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1968), 133.
463. Interview in Diapason-Harmonie, trans. Elise Holmes, April 1986, 40-41.464. Interview with Alan Blyth, Gramophone ( London), January 1978, 1243.
465. Interview in Diapason-Harmonie, trans. Elise Holmes, April 1986, 40-41.
466. Interview with Richard Osborne, Gramophone ( London), April 1978, 1687.
467. Bruno Walter, Gustav Mahler, trans. Lotte Walter Linde ( New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1968), 136.
468. Interview with Mortimer H. Frank, Fanfare, January/February 1985, 114.
469. Harvey Sachs, Toscanini ( London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1978), 8889.
470. Interview with Richard Osborne, Gramophone ( London), April 1978, 1687.
471. Interview with Edward Seckerson, Gramophone ( London), March 1987, 1238.
472. Bernard Jacobson, Conductors on Conducting ( London: Macdonald and Jane's, 1979), 128.
473. Interview in Diapason-Harmonie, trans. Elise Holmes, April 1986, 40-41.
474. Bruno Walter, Gustav Mahler, trans. Lotte Walter Linde ( New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1968), 137.
475. Otto Klemperer, Minor Recollections ( London: Dobson, 1964), 19.
476. Helena Matheopoulos, Maestro--Encounters with Conductors of Today ( London: Hutchinson, 1982), 437.
477. Interview in Diapason-Harmonie, trans. Elise Holmes, April 1986, 40-41.
478. Interview with Stephen Johnson, Gramophone ( London), August 1990, 338.
479. Interview with Edward Seckerson, Gramophone ( London), March 1987, 1237.
480. Helena Matheopoulos, Maestro--Encounters with Conductors of Today ( London: Hutchinson, 1982), 349.
481. Bruno Walter, Gustav Mahler, trans. Lotte Walter Linde ( New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1968), 138.
482. Interview in Diapason-Harmonie, trans. Elise Holmes, April 1968, 40-41.
483. Interview in International Herald Tribune, June 14, 1979, 8.
484. Oliver Daniel, Stokowski; A Counterpoint of View ( New York: Dodd Mead, 1982), 156.
485. Otto Klemperer, Minor Recollections ( London: Dobson, 1964), 89.
486. Interview with the author, July 19, 1977.
487. Interview in Diapason-Harmonie, trans. Elise Holmes, April 1986, 40-41.
488. Bruno Walter, Gustav Mahler, trans. Lotte Walter Linde ( New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1968), 142.
489. Helena Matheopoulos, Maestro--Encounters with Conductors of Today ( London: Hutchinson, 1982), 15.
490. Leonard Bernstein, The Unanswered Question ( Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1976), 318.
491. Interview with Edward Seckerson, Gramophone ( London), March 1987, 1238.
492. Interview with Alan Blyth, Gramophone ( London), March 1968, 477.
493. Leonard Bernstein, The Unanswered Question ( Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1976), 317.
494. Interview with Edward Seckerson, Hi-Fi News & Record Review ( New York), June 1980, 91.
495. Interview with Edward Seckerson, Gramophone ( London), September 1988, 399.
496. Interview in Diapason-Harmonie, trans. Elise Holmes, April 1986, 40-41.
497. Erich Leinsdorf, The Composer's Advocate ( New Haven: Yale University Press, 1981), 198.
498. Bruno Walter, Theme and Variations, trans. James A. Galston ( London: Hamish Hamilton, 1947), 206-7.
499. Bernard Jacobson, Conductors on Conducting ( London: Macdonald and Jane's, 1979), 149.
500. "The Record Legacy of Jascha Horenstein," High Fidelity ( New York:, October 1973, 78.
501. Conversations with Klemperer, ed. Peter Heyworth ( London: Gollancz, 1973), 31.