Iain Farrington

Pianist, organist, composer, arranger

Gustav Mahler - Symphony No. 10: Adagio for Piano Solo


Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) started composition on his Tenth Symphony in July 1910 at his composing hut in the woods outside Toblach, on the Austrian-Italian border. While working on the new symphony Mahler was devastated to discover that his wife Alma was having an affair with the architect Walter Gropius. Much of the piece seems to be an emotional response to the turmoil in Mahler’s life, and the manuscript contains numerous written notations to Mahler’s wife. He sketched a five movement work in a short score format, completing a full orchestration of the first movement, with sketches for the other movements. By January of the next year, Mahler had contracted a serious infection and died in May 1911. Although Mahler may well have revised the piece, this is the only movement to have been fully scored and is often performed separately. It is arranged for piano solo in a full, Romantic style, full of sweeping expression.


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