Mahler’s Tenth Symphony: An Unexpected Gap – Part II

Mahler’s '10th Symphony', Deryck Cooke 'Performing Version' of 1964, showing gauze where section is missing.

Mahler’s ’10th Symphony’, Deryck Cooke ‘Performing Version’ of 1964, showing gauze where section is missing.

In the first episode of this musical mystery story, readers were told something of the history of Deryck Cooke’s famous ‘performing version’ of Mahler’s unfinished Tenth Symphony – and learned of the Library’s unhappy discovery that Cooke’s own copy of the 1964 score was found, upon examination, to be missing its central, ‘Purgatorio’ movement.

Why this movement should have been removed – presumably by Cooke himself – was a question without an obvious answer. Equally, there was the issue of whether the gap could be filled after the passing of so many years. For one thing, the missing pages were not discovered among Cooke’s other papers, and were therefore unlikely even to have been in his possession at the time of his death. For another, it appeared to be the case – after a flurry of emails and phone calls to various publishers, orchestras, and libraries – that no copy of the 1964 score was preserved anywhere else. Nor was this altogether surprising, as the publication of a thoroughly revised score by Faber Music and AMP shortly before Cooke’s death in 1976 meant that the scores and parts of the previous (hire-only) version will have been carefully removed from circulation.

In other words, there seemed to be a real possibility that this version of the movement would remain lost – and that any future scholar who wanted to discuss the 1964 Performing Version (the first full-length and continuous score prepared by Cooke) would need to base their analysis on such details as could reliably be heard in the broadcasts and recordings made at the time.

And then the problem received an altogether unexpected solution.

Deryck Cooke's three-colour fair copy of the symphony’s second movement, as provided to the typesetter of the 1976 edition (UL Add. Ms. 10045/1)

Deryck Cooke’s three-colour fair copy of the symphony’s second movement, as provided to the typesetter of the 1976 edition (UL Add. Ms. 10045/1)

With the Cooke Archive established at the University Library and the process of conservation and cataloguing under way, Colin Matthews (a member of the Archive’s Editorial Board as well as one of the musicians who assisted Cooke with his final version) made a gift to the Library of a box of Cooke-related papers that had been in his possession for several decades. Among them were the scores of two complete movements of the symphony as provided to the typesetter of the 1976 edition. One of these scores was a neat, handwritten copy of the second movement in several colours of ink (black to show Mahler’s actual notations; red and green for various layers of editorial addition to be rendered in small type on the printed page). The other score was nothing less than the extracted and missing ‘Purgatorio’ – heavily marked with alterations and revisions, but with even the flanking pages present (though crossed out)!

Deryck Cooke's modified 1964 score of the symphony's third movement, as provided to the typesetter of the 1976 edition (UL Add. Ms. 10045/2)

Deryck Cooke’s modified 1964 score of the symphony’s third movement, as provided to the typesetter of the 1976 edition (UL Add. Ms. 10045/2)

Fortunately, Colin Matthews possesses an excellent memory, and in reply to an email he revealed what had taken place all those years ago. Since the ‘Purgatorio’ movement – unlike certain of the others! – did not require an enormous amount of correcting and revising for the 1976 edition, Cooke had realised that there was no need to write out a new copy of it from scratch: he could save time and effort by simply marking the necessary alterations on this portion of the existing 1964 score. Being the sort of man who viewed an outdated score as merely a rung on the ladder to a better one, Cooke had no compunction about tearing the movement out of his only copy and using those pages as the basis for the new version. And, as our Ex.3 shows, the appearance of the newly arrived pages is entirely consistent with this story.

As this example also shows, however, the practical need to mark the various alterations in a way that made everything unambiguously clear for the Faber copyist greatly complicated the appearance of the page – and sometimes had the result of making the original, underlying notations difficult or impossible to discern. Once again it seemed that future scholars would have to do a good deal of preliminary work before the details of the 1964 version could be discussed!

Thus the question arose once more as to whether another copy of the 1964 score could be located – and perhaps a photocopy or scan of the unaltered ‘Purgatorio’ obtained. By this time, of course, it had been established that neither David Matthews nor Colin possessed copies of their own; that no copy was held by the BBC Music Library; and that the score was never placed in the British Library. In addition, a further round of pestering the work’s US and UK publishers and their warehouse staff revealed that nothing had come to light since the previous enquiry. (As every musical detective knows: a second round of questioning is always advisable – since a looked-for item will often turn up only after the searcher has given up looking and thrown your contact details away!)

A possibility worth exploring was that Eugene Ormandy or the Philadelphia Orchestra – early advocates of the work, and the performers of the world premiere recording back in 1965 – might have retained a score or two that would be in a traceable location. . . But before this could be investigated, a reply came from Dr. Heribert Henrich of the Music Archive at the Akademie der Künste in Berlin. He was able to tell me that the Berthold Goldschmidt Archive contains what he thought must surely be a copy of the 1964 version:

On the cover of the score is the indication that the score has been used for the London premiere and the following performances in Berlin, Munich and Darmstadt. [. . .] The dedication by Cooke is dated “10.11.1964” and expresses his thanks for the Berlin performance.’ (email from Dr Heribert Henrich to Mark Doran, 24 July 2013)

The corresponding page of Berthold Goldschmidt's conducting score, held in the Berthold Goldschmidt Archive, Akademie der Künste, Berlin. Reproduced by permission.

The corresponding page of Berthold Goldschmidt’s conducting score, held in the Berthold Goldschmidt Archive, Akademie der Künste, Berlin. Reproduced by permission.

This was splendid news – not least for those future scholars, who will not be required to labour at reconstructing a score of the 1964 ‘Purgatorio’, but can work from the score held in Berlin as ‘Goldschmidt 117’: to judge from the scan of p. 22 provided by the Akademie (compare it with our Ex.3!), this will be a perfectly usable source.

The news was pleasing in another way, however. The composer and conductor Berthold Goldschmidt (1903-96) was not merely a close friend of Cooke’s, but also one of the earliest musicians to provide advice and assistance concerning the orchestration of the ‘Tenth’. In addition, it was he who conducted the premieres of the two earliest versions prepared by Cooke: the incomplete and discontinuous score played in the pioneering lecture-demonstration of December 1960, and the full-length 1964 version unveiled in a Prom of that year. It was fitting that Cooke had given his friend and colleague a dedicated score – and touching that for more than 30 years Goldschmidt had kept it safe among the possessions that, after his death, went to be preserved in Berlin.

Which leaves us with the original 1960 score. Or rather – without it: as was indicated in the first post in this series, no copy of this first version was found among the materials that arrived to form the Cooke Archive, and the initial attempts at locating a copy proved unsuccessful. In the intervening months, however, matters have moved on – to the extent that a third article is now called for. It will be an exciting read: don’t miss it!

Special thanks to Dr. Werner Grünzweig, Leiter der Musikarchive, Akademie der Künste, Berlin



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