On 8, 9 and 10 January 2020, Jaap van Zweden will be conducting the Concertgebouworkest. The programme performed on Wednesday, 8 and Thursday, 9 January includes a two-part version of Mahler’s Symphony No. 10 completed by Willem Mengelberg.
This little-known version features both the Adagio as well as the ‘Purgatorio’, and has not been performed since the world premiere given by Mengelberg and the Concertgebouworkest in 1924. Van Zweden, music director of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra – a post Gustav Mahler himself once held – is juxtaposing this work with a world premiere by the Dutch composer Martijn Padding, Softly Bouncing, and Stravinsky’s Le sacre du printemps.
On his death in 1911, Mahler left behind only the Adagio of his Symphony No. 10 fully orchestrated. It is usually this movement alone which is performed, or some version of the symphony completed without his widow Alma’s authorisation. Alma did, however, give Willem Mengelberg, then chief conductor of the Concertgebouworkest, carte blanche to complete the ‘Purgatorio’ as well. Assisted by the composer and conductor Cornelis Dopper, Mengelberg did just that. Now, nearly a century later, the two-part version of Mahler’s Tenth is finally being performed once again by the Concertgebouworkest.
On Friday, 10 January, the works by Padding and Stravinsky will flank the Britten Violin Concerto, featuring soloist Simone Lamsma. Lamsma made one earlier guest appearance with the Concertgebouworkest this season, when she stepped in for Janine Jansen to perform the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto on the orchestra’s Opening Night on 13 September 2019. The concert given on 10 January will be recorded by the AVROTROS network and broadcast on NPO Radio 4 on 12 January at 2.00 p.m.