The Mahler Album
Selections on this collection include:
- String Quartet No. 11 in F minor Op. 95 ‘Serioso’, as arranged for string orchestra, G. Mahler
- Symphony No. 5 in C sharp minor – Adagietto
- Symphony No. 10 in F sharp major – Adagio, as arranged for string orchestra, H. Stadlmair
Performed by the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, conducted by Candida Thompson
Gustav Mahler was a musical genius, who died in 1911… not all that long ago…
He revolutionized the performance of Opera in Europe and later in New York, when he became the conductor of the Metropolitan Opera for a while. As a composer of original music, his symphonies and his songs for voice and orchestra became world famous after he died.
In addition, Mahler also orchestrated some compositions of his predecessors. One such work was the Beethoven string quartet, Op. 95, known as the “Serioso” quartet.
Here is what Mahler wrote about his arrangement of Beethoven’s music in an open letter to the Viennese newspaper “Die Wage” in January 1899.
“A quartet for string orchestra! That sounds strange to you. I already know all the objections that will be raised: ruination of intimacy, of individuality. But that is an error. What I intend is only an ideal representation of the quartet. Chamber music is primarily written for the living room. It is really enjoyed only by the performers. The four ladies and gentlemen who sit at their music stands are also the audience towards which this music turns. If chamber music is transferred to the concert hall, this intimacy is already lost. But even more is lost. In a large space the four voices are lost and do not speak to the listener with the power that the composer wanted to give them. I give them this power by strengthening the voices. I unravel the expansion that is dormant in the voices and give the sounds wings.”
In addition to the Beethoven arrangement, this interesting CD also has a recording of the ‘Adagietto’ from Mahler’s Symphony #5, and the Adagio from the never completed Mahler 10th symphony.
Here is the String Quartet “Quartetto Serioso”, Op. 95 by L. van Beethoven, as arranged for chamber orchestra by Gustav Mahler;
First movement, Allegro con brio
And now here is the Gustav Mahler arrangement of the Beethoven String Quartet Op.95 in f minor “Quartett Serioso” 4th movement; Aram Gharabekian conducts the National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia