In the 18 years since Osmo Vänskä became music director of the Minnesota Orchestra, the ensemble has collected a number of honors unprecedented in the ensemble’s history. The latest such distinction came just after Thanksgiving when Australia’s Limelight magazine bestowed its 2021 Recording of the Year Award on the Orchestra for the disc of Gustav Mahler’s Tenth Symphony that was released by BIS Records in January of this year—the seventh release in an in-progress cycle of Mahler’s ten symphonies.
The honor, which comes on the heels of the Orchestra’s recent Gramophone Award for Orchestra of the Year, was announced by Limelight magazine and its Editor at Large Clive Paget, who interviewed Vänskä about the recording and the unique position the Tenth Symphony holds in Mahler’s catalog—given that the Tenth was unfinished at the time of the composer’s passing in 1911, and has not always been included in full in other orchestra’s recording cycles of Mahler symphonies.
“If, like me, you’ve always regarded Mahler’s Tenth Symphony as more of a suggestion of what might have been than a cohesive musical argument, prepare to be convinced as never before,” Paget commented. “Not only is Vänskä’s one of the best recorded versions of the work—heard as is generally the case in Deryck Cooke’s second performing version of 1976—it has a uniquely unified quality that belies the fragmented state of Mahler’s unfinished thoughts. Their compelling account had me on the edge of my seat from start to finish.”
Vänskä and the Orchestra will continue the Mahler symphony cycle in March and June 2022 with recording sessions featuring the Ninth and Eighth symphonies. After Vänskä’s tenure with the Orchestra concludes in summer 2022, they will reunite to record the Third Symphony in a future season to complete the cycle. Add the recording of Mahler’s Tenth Symphony to your collection—or give as a holiday gift—and read about Limelight magazine’s 2021 recording awards. View Vänskä’s interview with Clive Paget below.
Lighting the Town Red (and White)
Minneapolis is rolling out a unique welcome mat for Thomas Søndergård this week as he picks up his baton for the first time as music director.
Now Streaming: brea(d)th
Four New Things This Season
An Extraordinary New Partnership with First Avenue