“Thomas Dausgaard’s interpretation [of Mahler: Symphony No. 10] with the Seattle Symphony is one of the best you could wish for,” writes Valdemar Lønsted in the Danish newspaper, Information.
He continues, “Dausgaard gives the Adagio a good momentum. His tempos are flexible and likely in line with the music making in Mahler’s own time, neither static nor dragging. Time and time again Dausgaard points out the small cracks within the beauty of music, and there is a constant characterisation in rhythm and sound which brings out the dense thematic material. He unleashes the moment of catastrophe – the powerful dissonant chord comprising nine different tones – with an alarming intensity. […] The overall feeling is of the Seattle Symphony being urged to dig deep into the details of the music, and they do it as a galvanized ensemble. […] With Dausgaard’s hypersensitivity you experience the first scherzo with its many changes of meter as an irresistible rhythmical chain of small explosions. In the third movement, titled ‘Purgatorio’, the Dane draws out an obvious parallel, Mahler’s early orchestral song “Das irdische Leben”, about a child dying from hunger in the arms of its mother. Mahler’s manuscript sketches [for the symphony] are littered with sentences about death, pity and abandonment, and Dausgaard carries the emotional state of the composer into his analytical approach, which sharpens the level of tension in the performance and intensifies the impression of the symphony’s modernity. Put plainly, Seattle and Dausgaard are setting out to become a new power centre in American musical life – do listen also to their Nielsen and Strauss.”