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Sir Simon Rattle conducts Mahler and Tippett

Take a trip to London’s Barbican Centre, where the London Symphony Orchestra delivers a ‘well-nigh faultless’ performance (The Guardian) of Mahler and Tippett under the revered Sir Simon Rattle. Tippett’s The Rose Lake evokes the awe of Senegal’s Lake Retba, where the midday sun is known to transform the water into a resplendent shade of pink. The Rose Lake is a beautifully impressionistic ode to nature, and the final work of Tippett's long and distinguished career. Following Tippett is Mahler’s Symphony No. 10, which the composer begun at a Tylorean commune in the summer of 1910. While at the height of his compositional powers, Mahler’s personal life had fallen into disarray as he grappled with terminal heart disease and the breakdown of his marriage to Alma Schindler. Symphony No. 10 shows the marks of Mahler’s anguish; of all his works, this is his most dissonant cri de couer, as heard in the lacerating screams that mark the first movement’s climax. Mahler’s attachment to Alma is expressed in the words left on the manuscript of the final movement: ‘To live for you! To die for you … Almschi!’ At the time of Mahler’s death in 1911, the Symphony was left unfinished. While the first movement was virtually complete, only sketches were left of the planned five-movement work, and the classic completion by musicologist Deryck Cooke is performed here.

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