Home Classical Music Who’s Simon Rattle? Meet the British conductor & his greatest recordings

Who’s Simon Rattle? Meet the British conductor & his greatest recordings

Who’s Simon Rattle? Meet the British conductor & his greatest recordings


He’ll be conducting two farewell live shows with the London Symphony Orchestra on the 2023 BBC Proms. And he is among the best identified conductors within the enterprise.

However who’s Simon Rattle, which orchestras has he labored with, and what are a few of his best recordings on disc?

Who’s Simon Rattle?

Simon Rattle is, put merely, one of many foremost conductors of his or any technology. Maybe greatest famous for his work with the Metropolis of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic and London Symphony Orchestra, and with the orchestral works of Mahler, Beethoven, and Sibelius, Rattle has in reality performed a variety or repertoire, displaying a selected affinity for adventurous orchestral work from the twentieth century – by composers akin to Bartók, Stravinsky and Szymanowski.

Rattle made his Proms debut in 1976, on the age of 21. A current graduate of the Royal Academy and winner of the celebrated John Participant Worldwide Conducting competitors, Rattle – by then assistant conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra – performed the London Sinfonietta on 9 August 1976, with a programme together with the première of Harrison Birtwistle’s Meridian.

When was Simon Rattle born?

Rattle was born on 19 January 1955, in Liverpool.

The place did he develop up?

Rattle grew up in Liverpool. As a baby he realized the piano and violin, but additionally performed percussion for the Merseyside Youth Orchestra (now the Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Orchestra). He later entered the Royal Academy of Music in 1971, on the age of 16.

Which orchestras has Rattle labored with?

Simon Rattle is greatest identified for his tenure with three main orchestras. He spent practically 20 years (1980-1998) with the Metropolis of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the place he recorded, amongst different issues, a much-admired cycle of the Sibelius symphonies.

Subsequent got here an prolonged spell as chief conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic. Rattle took on the function in 199, succeeding Claudio Abbado (Daniel Barenboim was the opposite candidate within the working). He remained with the Berlin Phil till 2018, producing, amongst different issues, full cycles of the symphonies of Beethoven, Brahms, and Mahler.

Latterly, Rattle has labored as music director of the London Symphony orchestra. He took on the function for the beginning of the 2017-18 live performance season, and can give his closing performances with the London Symphony throughout the 2023 BBC Proms. He leads them twice throughout the Proms: for a efficiency of Schumann’s Das Paradies und Die Peri, with soloists together with his spouse Magdalena Kožená, and for Poulenc’s Determine humaine (with the BBC Singers) and Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 on Sunday 27 August.

Who’s Simon Rattle married to?

Rattle is married to the Cezch mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená.

Simon Rattle: greatest recordings

Camilla Tilling, Magdalena Kožená, Topi Lehtipuu, Mark Padmore, Christian Gerhaher, Thomas Quasthoff, Rundfunkchor Berlin/Simon Halsey, Berlin Philharmonic/Simon Rattle
Berlin Philharmonic BPHR140021

In our age of interval devices and historically-informed efficiency, you wouldn’t essentially flip to the Berlin Philharmonic and the progressive Sir Simon for a top-quality St Matthew Ardour. However that’s the place you’d be mistaken.

In 2012 Simon Rattle teamed up with director Peter Sellars to create a dramatic ‘ritualisation’ of the St Matthew, and in flip one among its most transferring interpretations. The choir and vocal soloists realized their components by coronary heart, leaving them free to maneuver across the stage, hinting at each the unfolding drama and Bach’s imaginative and prescient of two orchestras and choirs dealing with one another, certain up of their profound, prayerful journey. The sound high quality is elegant, the singing and enjoying sensational.
Phrases by: Oliver Condy

Learn BBC Music Journal‘s evaluate of this recording right here.

Percy Grainger: In a nutshell

Malcolm Wilson, Roderick Elms, Wayne Marshall, Metropolis of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Simon Rattle
Warner Classics 5564122

One among my most vivid reminiscences of beginning off as a younger, impressionable editorial assistant on Basic CD journal again in the summertime of 1997 was the sound of Simon Rattle and the CBSO’s (then) new disc of Grainger orchestral works floating by means of the workplace.

The opening In a Nutshell, the suite that offers the disc its title, is a gloriously quirky piece, starting from the almost-hypnotic ‘Pastoral’ to the boisterous ‘Gum-Suckers’ march. Grainger’s unique orchestration of Ravel’s La vallée des cloches, in the meantime, quickly had me exploring the latter composer’s piano music.

Splendidly performed and sumptuously recorded, it stays one among my favorite discs, not simply by Simon Rattle, however in my total assortment.
Phrases by: Jeremy Pound

Ravel: L’Enfant et les sortilèges; Ma mère l’Oye

Soloists; Berlin Philharmonic, Berlin Radio Choir/Sir Simon Rattle
Warner Classics 2641972

I’ve simply been watching one of many first Simon Rattle and London Symphony Orchestra recordings to be launched on the eve of their new partnership, a DVD of a scintillating French programme. Dutilleux, Delage and Ravel make for a tasty trio. And it despatched me again to a recording of two Ravel items that I like: L’Enfant et les sortilèges and Ma mere l’Oye.

I first received to know Mom Goose on the piano, however how fantastic to listen to it in full color, significantly with the luscious tone of the Berlin Philharmonic strings.

This account is stuffed with fairytale magic: the contrabassoon Beast is deliciously growly, the clarinet Magnificence dances gracefully, whereas the Empress of the Pagodas sparkles.

Rattle first performed the one-act opera l’enfant et les sortilèges when he was 19, and his affection for the piece shines by means of. The solid will not be too shabby both: Magdalena Kožená, Nathalie Stutzmann, Sophie Koch, Jose van Dam, Francois Le Roux and Jean-Paul Fouchecourt enjoy Ravel’s imaginative and prescient of childhood.
Phrases by: Rebecca Franks

Learn BBC Music Journal‘s evaluate of this recording right here.

Holst: The Planets

Ambrosian Singers, Philharmonia Orchestra/Simon Rattle
EMI ASD 4047

After I was at junior college I heard Holst’s ‘Mars’ on the automotive radio and requested my dad and mom what it was. They purchased me an EMI LP of The Planets with its gorgeous NASA picture of Saturn on the quilt. This 1981 efficiency by the Philharmonia Orchestra was performed by Simon Rattle. I bear in mind the image of the conductor together with his huge hair.

At any time when I hear the ominous 5/4 rhythm of ‘Mars’, I feel again to this document and the extreme listening expertise, because it builds as much as its thundering ffff – nearly just like the horror of a battlefield. I used to be advised to pay attention out for the tenor tuba which Holst had imported from a army band.

The document additionally launched me to the opposite fantastic Planets, together with the well-known tunes of ‘Jupiter’, the awful chimes of ‘Saturn’ and the ethereal wordless singing of ‘Neptune’.
Phrases by: Neil McKim

Schumann: Das Paradies und die Peri

Sally Matthews, Mark Padmore, Kate Royal, Bernarda Fink, Andrew Staples, Florian Boesch; London Symphony Refrain/Simon Halsey; London Symphony Orchestra/Simon Rattle
LSO Dwell LSO0782

One of many first discs that got here into the workplace after I began at BBC Music Journal was this sensible recording – Simon Rattle’s first on the LSO Dwell label – of Schumann’s Das Paradies und die Peri. Although little-known in the present day, in Schumann’s lifetime this unusual mythological oratorio was seen as the preferred piece he ever wrote.

With Simon Rattle on the helm, this incredible solid of prime British singers weave an online of thriller which captured my creativeness, and has continued to take action ever since.
Phrases by: Elinor Cooper



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