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P Stumpf
# Posted: 24 May 2009 21:37

The final performance in the series was a moving and wonderfully played Ninth, under Barenboim. Sweep and majesty were the order of the day; it was a fine close to this most rewarding series.

William Zucker
# Posted: 25 May 2009 02:28

My comment on Barenboim would be precisely the same as that which I left for Das Lied.

Giving this particular work and performance, had I heard it, some further thought, I honestly cannot say how I would have received it. I do not respond to the 9th in anything of the same manner as I do to most of the others. It lacks a certain "immediacy" for me - I cannot fully explain - and a certain comment I read about this work many years ago, that this work sounds as if it were not by Mahler but by some other composer using Mahler as his mouthpiece, seems to ring true for me. I can listen and not be bored, but it does not light my fires. What else can I say?

Incidentally, and I'm sure others agree, I'm sick and tired of this "purist" attitude on the part of many would-be Mahler conductors who refuse to perform the 10th outside of the opening Adagio. The fact is, that it was compositionally about 90% complete, lacking only the final touches and revisions which it surely would have received, but the essence is already present. That is why Deryck Cooke was able to fashion such a convincing statement out of it, and incidentally, Henri-Louis in his fourth volume does agree with this appraisal. Those who still stubbornly refuse to perform the realized work are not only cutting their own noses, but ours as well, fully cheating everyone concerned, for the sake of a few totally spurious prinicples.

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