A Triumphant Mahler Symphony No. 10

A recording of depth, emotion and skill.

Composer: Mahler Repertoire: Symphony No.10
Artists: Vienna Philharmonic/Harding
Rating: 5/5

Genre: Orchestral
Label: Deutsche Grammophon 477 7347

Mahler’s Tenth has attracted young conductors like a moth to the flame, and more than a few have had their fingers burnt. Not so Daniel Harding whose reading of this long and Byzantine work, left unfinished upon Mahler’s death, is supremely well-heard and paced. It helps, of course, to have the Vienna Philharmonic on your side, but the depth of sonority and perspective in the first movement touches upon perfection; the counterpoint between Mahler’s muscular orchestration and his shrill, vulnerable string writing is chilling. Harding hammers the inchoate, grotesque distortions of the Scherzos home, and the Finale is beautifully shaped towards its fragmentary, disturbing conclusion.