Monday, 30 November 2009
Thursday, 26 November 2009
I'm a big Mahler fan - ever since I went to the first night of the Proms in 1975 and, standing up in the gods, I heard Mahler's Eighth. Mahler's Tenth and final symphony was unfinished, although substantially complete in draft form, so any performance is a realisation by someone else. There are several of these, but those by Deryck Cooke are the ones that form the basis of performances today. And you're in no doubt that you're listening to Mahler.
I already have one recording of just the first movement, but last week I read this moving account by Gareth Davies, the principal flautist in the London Symphony Orchestra, of his experience, following the discovery and treatment of cancer. For some time after his return to work he found himself playing great music, yet simply going through the motions and feeling nothing. It was during a performance of Mahler 10 that a switch flicked in his brain. Read the post here.
As a consequence, I've just bought Sir Simon Rattle's Mahler 10 with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, and I'm loving it, especially the flute solo in the last movement.