Programme Guide

Not one but two great conductors took the young Daniel Harding under their wing at the beginning of his career: Sir Simon Rattle and Claudio Abbado. Rattle, then heading up the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, was so enthusiastic about a CD recording made by the young man, just 17 at the time, that he made him his assistant. A position as assistant to Claudio Abbado and the Berliner Philharmoniker followed; Harding first conducted the orchestra in 1996. Meanwhile the British conductor, now music director of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and principal guest conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, has made an international career and is considered one of the most promising conductors of the younger generation.Gustav Mahler’s Tenth Symphony has accompanied him at key milestones in his career, such as his debuts with the Vienna Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Mahler began the composition of this work, whose first movement links musically to the last movement of the Ninth Symphony, in the summer of 1910, profoundly shaken by his marital crisis with Alma Mahler. He was not to finish his Tenth Symphony: when he died in May 1911 he left it behind as a fragment. Only the first movement, Adagio, existed as a draft score and was incorporated into the Critical Complete Edition. Notwithstanding, the existing sketches have tempted musicologists to create a version appropriate for concert performance. The “performing version” of the British musicologist Deryck Cooke – not uncontroversial in professional circles – is the reconstruction of this symphony that is played most often.

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