Composers: Mahler
Compositions: Symphony No 10 (Castelletti Edition)
Performers: Lapland Chamber Orchestra/John Storgårds
Catalogue Number: BIS BIS2376

Mahler’s Tenth Symphony was never quite finished, but he did leave two movements orchestrated and three movements in short-score. This meant that it’s been up to musicologists to attempt a completion, relying on both Mahler’s drafts and sketches for the remainder to render it performable. Deryck Cooke’s version is perhaps the most well-known, but there are certainly others available. The different versions are a bit like wandering into your usual supermarket and finding that the store has been rearranged.

Michelle Castelletti’s version is something rather different in that it re-configures the whole thing for chamber orchestra. This is a more delicate approach to the Tenth Symphony, and the refined sound produced by the Lapland Chamber Orchestra meant that I could really hear the complexities of Mahler’s boundary-pushing late harmonies.

It’s not a sumptuously plush sound, but it is pin-point precise. Castelletti’s version starts to diverge from other versions more obviously in the fourth and fifth movements, which Mahler left only in short score. Storgårds’ conducting (and Castelletti’s behind-the-scenes work) brings a sense of power to the second scherzo and finale movements that meant I didn’t miss the more familiar Cooke version. This fine recording should encourage more chamber orchestras to explore this repertoire.