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Mahler Symphony 10: Recomposed by Mathew Herbert [VINYL]


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Product details

  • Composer: Gustav Mahler
  • Vinyl (12 July 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B003GC58D8
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 321,418 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Product Description

Deutsche Grammophon * stereo * EU * * * * * *

Customer Reviews

2.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Steve TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 28 July 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This CD will certainly divide opinion. Matthew Herbert, a contemporary composer, has taken the great Adagio of Mahler's unfinished tenth symphony as the basis for this 'recomposition'. Not just that, he has used a particular recording (Giuseppe Sinopoli conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra) as that basis; he has then taken short extracts from the recording, 'samples', and re-recorded the playback of these in locations such as the inside and outside of a coffin; at Mahler's composing hut in Toblach, Italy; played over the loudspeakers at a crematorium in Medway, Kent; and locations elsewhere. Herbert has also treated parts of the original recording electronically in various ways and inserted these, the final result being a work 37 minutes long.

The very idea of all this will probably be viewed as sacrilegious to many. It may appear to some to be just 'playing around with' Mahler's music; perhaps to cash in on the 2010/2011 anniversaries of the composer's birth/death?.

But having listened a number of times, I think Herbert has succeeded in producing a worthy piece. He clearly does loves the original work. In the sleevenotes he writes 'It is not supposed to be...some multimedia museum piece. It is... an amplification of the unsettling balance I hear in the original work between light and dark'. There is structure. We follow the progress of the original work. The beautiful angular main theme. The astonishing nine-note dissonance. At this point Herbert gives the original a 'disco', rhythmic, bass-heavy, treatment. It is shocking. Just as the appearance of that chord in the original is, but amplified, in all respects. The music gradually works its way, via various treatments, to its benign resolution.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Steve TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 28 July 2010
Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
I have reviewed the actual work on the CD issue of this work already: Recomposed by Matthew Herbert. This is a comparison of the CD and vinyl releases.

The L.P. is pressed on heavyweight vinyl and has good quiet surfaces, although my copy had a few manufacturing clicks. As the work is only 37 minutes long, it is cut at a reasonably high level, and the cutting engineer has stayed well away from the centre label, avoiding end of side distortion.

The recording has a huge dynamic range, and the CD is superior in this respect, although you may prefer the slightly more limited range of the L.P. The massive discordant/disco section has been well managed on the vinyl however. To my surprise, I found the CD was better at revealing low-level detail. And I did not find the vinyl copy any 'warmer' sounding than the CD. (Although I have an open mind about this subject, most of my L.P.s do sound warmer to me than the equivalent CDs).

But it's not just about sound. The illustrations are of course far superior reproduced at 12 inches square. However the booklet with my L.P. does not contain as many pages as the CD; there is no reproduction of the photo of Mahler, or of Herbert by the sea. Is this intended, or have I a rogue booklet? Most shamefully, the record plant has used a cheap paper bag to house the actual disc; surely they should have used a polythene-lined inner? I found I had to physically pull with force to remove the disc which static was holding to the bag; in time this will surely introduce scratches. Such penny-pinching!

Of course you don't have to get up to change sides with the CD, which just about decides it.

Unless like me you just like the long-playing record regardless.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Colin McCartney TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 Jun 2010
Format: Audio CD
This latest release in Deutsche Grammophon's "Recomposed" series sounds more like a traditional classical music LP than the previous instalment ReComposed by Carl Craig & Moritz von Oswald.

Basically, Matthew Herbert takes an original 1987 DG recording of Mahler's unfinished 10th symphony (a piece of music with which I have no previous familiarity, just to put this in context) by the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Giuseppe Sinopoli and adds some ambient noise and studio tricks.

The end result for me is a bit flat - since it loses the depth of an out-and-out classical recording and the sonic enhancements don't really add anything. Was that the sound of a bus going past? Or the noise of a washing machine? Well I can hear those without having to put this CD on, so what's the point? As Herbert himself points out in the sleevenotes "what you are listening to is me listening to the piece". The obvious question is - why is that a good idea? I think I'd rather just listen to the original, thanks.

Things do pick up briefly on track 7 (the music is, we are told, intended to be listened to as a continuous piece and the track separation is for "digital purposes") when we are treated to an all too short dose - no more than 30 seconds - of pounding beats. But that's over very quickly and it's back to muted strings.

An interesting and worthy idea, but sadly one which will satisfy neither the classical purists (horrify them, probably) nor fans of electronic music and is unlikely to win new fans from either genre. Top artwork from Will Bankhead though - one of the best sleeve designers around at the moment.
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