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Posted by Ralph Moore on September 3, 2016, 3:33 pm, in reply to "Rattle/Mahler"
Geoff, I cannot but respond enthusiastically - but sorrowfully, too - to your observations. I attended concerts by the CBSO in the 80's when Rattle was a Wunderkind and wondered where he was going; thirty and more years later his recent achievements seem to be to have have led a great orchestra into comparative mediocrity, impoverished their repertoire, compromised their celebrated Klang and produced a string of eminently forgettable - or at best, satisfactory - recordings. Rattle seems to have no real connection to the great Austro-German symphonic tradition: he doesn't understand Bruckner, trivialises Beethoven, emasculates Haydn and fusses Schubert to death. Some like his Brahms, and his Mahler is intermittently successful but his tenure with the BSO has surely been no triumph; it would seem that the orchestra itself has lost interest in him. I wonder how his successor will fare but am not optimistic and I am certainly not looking forward to his tenure with the LSO.
Of course to dare to suggest such things inevitably invites opprobrium. But you've said it, and I feel emboldened to second your conclusion that his ego has taken precedence over his dedication to the music.
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