Tippett and Mahler

London Symphony Orchestra/Sir Simon Rattle

Photo of Sir Simon Rattle conducting

From blissful radiances to a last lament, Sir Simon Rattle conducts the final works of Sir Michael Tippett and Gustav Mahler.

Tippett never shied away from breaking new musical ground, and his last major work, ‘a song without words for orchestra’, was no exception. Inspired by journeys to Senegal, The Rose Lake is the imaginary chant of the breathtaking, rose-hued Lake Retba. Each section of the orchestra is illuminated, with driving percussive forces and soaring melodies portraying a euphoric awakening of the landscape.

The Rose Lake is a hymn of nature; but Mahler’s final work, left unfinished and restored after years of collaboration, is the cry of a desperate man. Condemned to life with a fatal heart condition and a failing marriage, his Tenth Symphony is a heartrending goodbye – as the composer himself inscribed on the manuscript, ‘farewell, farewell’.

*This performance of Tippett's The Rose Lake is supported by Resonate, a PRS Foundation initiative in partnership with Association of British Orchestras, BBC Radio 3 and Boltini Trust.

The concert will be recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Monday 23 April.

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Barbican Hall