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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inbal or Rattle?
I know that there are other recommendable recordings out there, but comparison of these two makes sense to me for several reasons, practical and aesthetic: one, I own them both; two, they are both excellent; three, they represent contrasting, very diffferent but equally successful interpretative stances.

Rattle's version has attracted far more attention and...
Published on 21 Feb 2010 by Ralph Moore

versus
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
As a huge admirer of Sir Simon and a Mahler addict; I was severely disappointed with this release. Sure, the BPO's polished sound and virtuoso playing are very impressive but they somehow lack the musical alacrity for which Rattle is famous.
The first Rattle recording of the Ten with the Bournemouth SO, although not as technically accomplished as this, outshines this...
Published on 17 Jun 2004


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inbal or Rattle?, 21 Feb 2010
By 
Ralph Moore "Ralph operaphile" (Bishop's Stortford, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mahler: Symphony No.10 (Audio CD)
I know that there are other recommendable recordings out there, but comparison of these two makes sense to me for several reasons, practical and aesthetic: one, I own them both; two, they are both excellent; three, they represent contrasting, very diffferent but equally successful interpretative stances.

Rattle's version has attracted far more attention and many more reviews, for obvious reasons, but don't let that, in combination with the fact that his Mahler cycle as a whole might not be up there with the front runners, lead you to dismiss Inbal. For some reason, Inbal and his Frankfurt orchestra really came into their own for this one.

Broadly speaking, Rattle's view of this wonderful symphony, in the equally admirable completion (OK - "performing version") by Deryck Cooke, is typical of his strengths (reflected in his latest Brahms symphony cycle) and weaknesses (an ennervated and static Requiem by the same composer) as a conductor. Occasionally, he relies too heavily on too ponderous an approach which can cause his interpretation to plough into the sand and choke. Here, although he favours much broader tempi and phrasing than Inbal, I think he gets away with it: this is a grand, monumental 10th, far more tragic and reflective than Inbal's nervier, more propulsive and hopeful account. Thus, some find Rattle nerveless and cold, others find a stately beauty in his more reserved approach.

Both versions enjoy superb sound. Rattle's is spliced from two live performances and is slightly rounder and duller - or perhaps less edgy? - than Inbal's brighter studio recording; either way, the ambience provided complements each conductor's artistic choices. Inbal's woodwind is more pungent but there is more sheen on the Berlin strings - which could be the result of both their innate orchestral sound and the engineering. Both orchestras play superbly, although some find an echo of too much smoothness in the BPO's strings - a remnant of the Karajan era, they complain.

Movement by movement, the same generalisations are confirmed in the details: the opening is more resigned and yet more tender, too, under Rattle; more violent and heroic under Inbal, especially in the shattering, climactic, nine-note dissonance and the A-flat minor chorale. Both Scherzos are weightier and more refined under Rattle; more rustic, unbuttoned and even vulgar under Inbal, especially in the Ländler sections. I love the way Inbal's brass screams and howls in the second Scherzo; Rattle is almost too civilised by comparison. In the tiny, central "Purgatorio" movement, Rattle brings darker sonorities and colouring, Inbal is sharper.

The interpretation of the vast final movement could be a clincher for some listeners: the otherwordly beauty of the flute's theme leading into the concluding cantabile section is exquisitely played by Rattle and the BPO; his broader tempo and their singing strings impart a profound melancholy which offers less of a sense of resignation and consolation than Inbal's vibrancy. Both make much of the bitterly ironic quotations from "Das Lied von der Erde". One crucial detail stands out for me: I much prefer the way in which Inbal secures a real swooping, Mahlerian portamento from the Frankfurt strings on that last leaping sixth skywards; Rattle's is almost diffident in its polite timidity.

In the last analysis, I prefer Inbal's heart-wrenching humanity to Rattle's bleaker, more detached stateliness, but make no mistake: both are deeply moving, wholly recommendable recordings.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The One to Beat, 7 Sep 2009
By 
Jonathan Posner (LONDON, England United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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It's taken me a long time to finally come out with it, but I find this, Rattle's first recording, infinitely superior to his later - and much-lauded - version with the Berlin Philharmonic. Not superior, obviously, in ensemble, refinement and string-tone, but superior in all the most important aspects. Which are? Let me count the ways.

Firstly, propulsion. I've heard versions of the first movement that are so slow (yes I know it's marked Adagio) they're in danger of falling over (or worse, falling asleep) as various interpreters strive to wring every lingering ounce of emotion from the score. But not with these Bournemouth players. A brisk and youthful Rattle really knows where he's going with this and the benefits are untold; his Berlin performance of this movement is a full minute slower and almost drags in comparison. The rest of the symphony likewise displays this relentless (and perfectly apt) momentum.

Secondly, astringency. For me, Mahler has to be astringent, even visceral, especially in the strings, and the Bournemouth musicians have this quality in spades. There's a friction here, strangely absent from polished Berlin. And if the Bournemouth strings are rougher than their German counterparts then happily, for once, that's all to the good. Just listen to them go at the beginning of the second Scherzo; there's no other version that makes my hair stand on end (and I've pretty well heard them all). And what's true of the strings is also true of the glorious, unbuttoned Bournemouth brass.

Thirdly, excitement. This was probably only the second or third time that the entire work (in Deryck Cooke's performing version) was laid down, and it shows. There's such a loving concentration and freshness here and the results are never less than electrifying. What all this means is that one is constantly on edge, just as one should be in this terrific work. And when the strings emit that final, awful 'Alma' wail it's no tacked-on Mahlerian indulgence but comes as a truly organic and heart-stopping conclusion to a final movement to end all final movements.

In conclusion, I understand why Rattle's Berlin recording has become, for so many, the one to beat. But if that version is like a mature relationship with all the riches that that can bring, this Bournemouth one is by comparison the first days of a new love affair - thrilling, reckless, dizzying and spine-tingling. I need hardly say more - go and get it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, this is the 10th to get, 13 July 2010
By 
Steve (Leeds) - See all my reviews
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At last I have decided to come out of the closet. Having read rave review after review, even an award(?) for Rattle's Berlin recording of Mahler 10, and having always preferred this, Rattle's first version, I somehow always felt 'different' from other people. Now with Jonathan Posner and others putting into words what I feel too, it's time to walk proud and urge listeners to go for this one.

Mr. Posner lists a number of reasons; I certainly think that the at times 'rawness' of this Bournemouth version is far more suited to the emotions we are experiencing than the rather too smooth sound of the BPO (fine though their actual playing is). There was a tremendous sense of occasion around this issue on its first appearance, it being an early EMI digital recording; the L.P.s were beautifully presented in a box with very substantial notes (I was mad to sell it); the recording was made in Southampton's Guildhall, a fine open acoustic. Those terrific bass drum thwacks in the 4th and 5th movements must have challenged the cutting engineer to the limits.

It's a tremendous experience, now at a ridiculously low price. The only other Mahler 10 I can compare this with, as an equal, is Mark Wigglesworth's live performance which was issued with BBC Music Magazine some years ago. But I think you will be lucky to get a copy of that.

Go for this Bournemouth Rattle 10. I think you really will be moved.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ultimate 10th, 25 Jun 2004
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This review is from: Mahler: Symphony No.10 (Audio CD)
Mahler's 10 th Symphony is probably one of the most debated works by Mahler, since it remained unfinished at his death in 1911. Many years later Deryck Cooke revived the score and completed what he called a "performing version" of the 10th. A number of conductors / orchestras have recorded the 10th, but this 1999 version from Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker is for me the ultimate version to listen to.
Rattle also recorded a version with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in 1980 (EMI Classics CDC 7 54406 2) and Kurt Sanderling (Berlin Classics 0094422BC) recorded another version with the Berliner Sinfonie Orchester in 1979. Both of these are excellent versions of the 10th, but in my opinion do not come close to Rattle's 1999 recording in terms of subtle shading, emotion and impact. When I first heard Rattle's 1999 recording, it touched my heart and soul and utterly captivated me.
If you want to hear Mahler's music at its best, then get this recording. You won't regret it.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 17 Jun 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Mahler: Symphony No.10 (Audio CD)
As a huge admirer of Sir Simon and a Mahler addict; I was severely disappointed with this release. Sure, the BPO's polished sound and virtuoso playing are very impressive but they somehow lack the musical alacrity for which Rattle is famous.
The first Rattle recording of the Ten with the Bournemouth SO, although not as technically accomplished as this, outshines this release by a long way. The drama, dynamics, tenderness and heart-rending emotion of that original recording (especially the 2 big adagios) are utterly compelling.
Similarly, the first scherzo in this recording sounds heavy and sluggish in comparison to the original. The Purgatorio, likewise, loses most of its shadowy and sinister character in the new recording.
Using the Faber full score to follow the music; its hard to believe that Sir Simon actually got his way with the redoubtable BPO - although, without a shadow of a doubt, he is the greatest living conductor, this is puzzling.
This is by no means a bad recording (a la Levine - dreadful); but if you want the real Mahler, stick to Rattle's original recording. I doubt it will ever be bettered. With due respect to the other reviewers I simply feel that they are mistaken. Incidentally, by popular musical consent, the greatest performance of this work took place at the Royal Festival Hall under the baton of Rattle with the CBSO - at which I was present. Curiously, no release of this performance has emerged.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best, 2 Aug 2007
By 
maximus (manchester, uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mahler: Symphony No.10 (Audio CD)
This is not my favourite of Mahler symphonies (apart from the fact that it wasn't complete by the time he died) mainly because I still haven't understood the reason for its attempted composition esepecially since the 9th seemed like such an apotheosis. But who am I to judge a great composer! Given that, therefore, in my opinion this is the best performance of the 10th I have heard, because of the moving interpretation by Rattle. It goes without saying that BPO play flawlessly.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably The Best Version Available, 6 Aug 2002
By 
E. A. Redfearn "eredfearn2" (Middlesbrough) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mahler: Symphony No.10 (Audio CD)
There can never be nor will be a final performing version of Mahler's incompleted 10th. Mahler managed to complete the first movement before his death in May 1910, but since he had a habit of revising his works several times, we will never know how the final product would have sounded. Nevertheless, numerous conductors have attempted Deryk Cook's completed version for orchestra. Wyn Morris' version recorded in the 1970s is no longer available as far as I know, but Simon Rattle does excel himself here. The first movement reveals Mahler's anguish over the realisation that his wife Alma had been unfaithful. The emotions felt by Mahler during that turbulent period of his life emanates through the music leading to a wonderful emotional climax which almost bares his soul. The following movements seem to be a series of unanswered questions which may leave the listener unsatisfied. However, the final movement which may have been one of Mahler's finest, if he had lived to complete it, bearing in mind that he left a series of sketches, is a very emotional experience. Rattle's tempi is a little slower than normal, but he does allow the emotions to surface. The work overall, certainly would have been one of Mahler's most advanced works, and his influence on Berg, Webern and Korngold is apparant here. The recording is fine, and if you have not heard this version before, be prepared for an emotional experience, because only Mahler can achieve that.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Rattle's finest Mahler recording yet as far as I am concerned: marvellously shaped performance!, 16 July 2014
This review is from: Mahler: Symphony No.10 (Audio CD)
Rattle's finest Mahler recording yet to my ears. I first experienced Mahler 10 through his noted Bournemouth recording first on cassette when first released and I still treasure this recording on CD which persuades me with the conviction of a musician keen to champion this score that what we are listening to is a masterpiece albeit unfinished by Mahler. The difference in listening to the later Berlin performance recorded live is that this as a performance breathes beautifully and has no need to try to convince. For me it is a great performance and remains one of the most totally successful recordings Rattle has made. The Bournemouth reading is special and I would not want to be without it for the excitement of discovery that burns within the reading but the extra richness of the playing, especially in the Berlin strings, and the sense of the conductor having lived with this score makes this later interpretation invaluable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful recording of Mahler's Symphony No.10!!!, 9 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Mahler: Symphony No.10 (Audio CD)
I was very interested to hear this version of Mahler's "draft" Symphony No.10, prepared by Deryck Cooke for performance. My main Mahler experience has been the excellent Sir Georg Solti/Chicago Symphony Orchestra box set of his Symphonies 1-9, but they never recorded the 10th. So I went for this recording of the 10th by Sir Simon Rattle and his Berlin Philharmonic (for EMI in 2000) mainly because I had not heard this conductor and orchestra before. In fact I guess I have never been a fan of Simon Rattle even back to his days with the CBSO, with whom he recorded Mahler Symphonies. Well at least I have now become a fan of him with the Berlin Philharmonic and would like to hear more of their Mahler recordings. Listening to their recording of Mahler's Symphony No.10 is a very powerful and moving experience. What is particularly special is the opening Adagio with the strength and refinement of the Berlin Philharmonic strings growing stronger throughout the movement. Also very special is the reflective Finale with some very effective brass (tuba, horns and trombones) and woodwind (clarinet) playing but again it is the sheer power and beauty of the strings which shape the movement and let it drift away in its final moments.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Over studied, 18 Feb 2014
By 
John Stapleton (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mahler: Symphony No.10 (Audio CD)
After years of knowing the two Rattle recordings I discovered the Sanderling/Berlin. The symphony immediately came into focus and shines as one of Mahler's greatest. By comparison Rattle seems over studied and rather ponderous. The music just does not flow naturally as it does with Sanderling.
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