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Thread: Sir Simon Rattle

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    Default Sir Simon Rattle

    Sir Simon Rattle



    Sir Simon (Denis) Rattle became one of the world's leading conductors at an unusually early age. As a boy, Rattle studied percussion; at the age of 11, he appeared as a percussionist with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. He joined the National Youth Orchestra, again as a percussionist, and began conducting when he was a teenager. At fifteen, he founded and conducted the Liverpool Sinfonia.

    From 1971 to 1974, Rattle studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London. In his graduation year, still in his teens, he entered the John Player International Conductors' Competition and won first prize. He was soon appointed assistant conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, remaining with the orchestra until 1976.

    In 1976 Rattle made his United States debut on tour with the London Schools Symphony Orchestra. His first American performance with a professional orchestra was a concert with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra in 1979. In 1981 that orchestra named him principal guest conductor, a post he retained until 1994.

    Rattle made his first Glyndebourne Festival appearance in 1977, and retained his association with that insititution, lead productions of operas from the Classical period on. From 1977 to 1980, he was assistant conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. During this time, he also appeared frequently with major American orchestras.

    Rattle's longest-lasting association with an orchestra began when the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra named him its principal conductor and artistic adviser in 1980. With a change of title to music director in 1990, Rattle remained with the group until 1998. During their time together, both orchestra and the conductor attained remarkable artistic growth; they went on frequent wide-ranging tours, including visits to Europe, Scandinavia, the Far East, and North America. Even after giving up his directorship at the CBSO, Rattle continued to conduct the orchestra's ten-year Towards the Millennium festival of modern music. In 1992 Rattle became principal guest conductor of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; his appointments also include artistic adviser of the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group.

    Rattle became a well-known television figure in Britain with an award-winning series, Leaving Home, the most extensive video production ever devoted to twentieth century orchestral music. He has made over 60 recordings, and today remains an exclusive EMI artist. Particularly honored are his recordings of Mahler's Symphony No. 2 (three Gramophone Awards), Gershwin's Porgy and Bess (Gramophone, International Record Critics' , and Charles Cros Grand Prix Awards), and Szymanowski's Stabat Mater (Echo Award). His projects for the year 2000 included Szymanowski's opera King Roger, Bernstein's Wonderful Town, and Mahler's Symphony No. 10.

    The conductor has frequently appeared at the Salzburg Festival, and made 55 appearances with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra before that ensemble announced in June 1999 that Rattle would become the orchestra's chief conductor and artistic adviser upon Claudio Abbado's retirement in 2002.

    Rattle's other honors include Commander of the Order of the British Empire (1987) and a knighthood (1994).

    [Article taken from All Music Guide]


    Rattle has become one of my favorite conductors lately. Many months ago, I was found on this very forum absolutely blasting him to death. Hearing his interpretations of Mahler I slowly become a fan of his conducting. His approach is very interesting. He is a very detail oriented conductor and granted this always doesn't work, but he's certainly got his own style, which more than I can say for many condcutors around today. He can coax sounds out out of a Mahler symphony I haven't even heard before.

    What do you guys think about him? He certainly is a controversial figure in classical music, but despite his critics, he certainly has found a fan in me.
    Last edited by Mirror Image; Jun-08-2009 at 02:09.

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    Senior Member handlebar's Avatar
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    I admire Rattle and his work.While his Beethoven symphony set is average, his Mahler is good. He seems to be able to keep his personal life out of the world spotlight as well,with a few exceptions.

    As he gets older he does indeed get better.

    Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by handlebar View Post
    I admire Rattle and his work.While his Beethoven symphony set is average, his Mahler is good. He seems to be able to keep his personal life out of the world spotlight as well,with a few exceptions.

    As he gets older he does indeed get better.

    Jim
    I only look to Rattle for his strengths: Shostakovich, Mahler, Britten, Stravinsky, Szymanowski, Debussy, Ravel, Bartok, and Sibelius.

    He's not particularly good in early Romantic or Classical Era music. I found his Berlioz to be mediocre at best. He certainly can't match the power, grace, and emotion of Sir Colin Davis.

    I have read many reviews about his Beethoven, but honestly I doubt he or anyone can top Claudio Abbado's live set on Deutsche Grammophon.

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    Senior Member handlebar's Avatar
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    I forgot about the Sibelius. I own and still forgot. I prefer the Gibson set on Chandos but admit Rattle is a good Sibelian.

    Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by handlebar View Post
    I forgot about the Sibelius. I own and still forgot. I prefer the Gibson set on Chandos but admit Rattle is a good Sibelian.

    Jim
    I prefer the Osmo Vanska set to all of them, but Rattle is a fine Sibelian.

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    Senior Member Bach's Avatar
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    His Mahler and particularly his Strauss are fantastic. I've never been disappointed by any of his recordings.
    Si vos agnosco is tunc vos es quoque erudio

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    Senior Member handlebar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bach View Post
    His Mahler and particularly his Strauss are fantastic. I've never been disappointed by any of his recordings.
    I would say his Beethoven is rather pedestrian. For Beethoven symphonies i prefer the Gardiner set. His Strauss is good, i agree.

    Jim

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    Senior Member Bach's Avatar
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    I don't have his Beethoven, and I wouldn't buy it - he's not a classical specialist.
    Si vos agnosco is tunc vos es quoque erudio

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bach View Post
    I don't have his Beethoven, and I wouldn't buy it - he's not a classical specialist.
    No he isn't. His specialities are in the late-Romantic and 20th Century repertoire. I always wished he would have done some Hindemith.

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    I'm surprised he hasn't - and I agree that it would certainly be a good project!
    Si vos agnosco is tunc vos es quoque erudio

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    I've looked at his Porgy and Bess recording for a while now (now a part of EMI's "Great Recordings of the Century"), but otherwise I've somewhat lost interest in Rattle. I agree that he has his place, but I tend to think it isn't my kind of place.
    You get a frog in your throat, you sound hoarse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by World Violist View Post
    I've looked at his Porgy and Bess recording for a while now (now a part of EMI's "Great Recordings of the Century"), but otherwise I've somewhat lost interest in Rattle. I agree that he has his place, but I tend to think it isn't my kind of place.
    Have you ever heard his Mahler or Shostakovich, WV?

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    Quote Originally Posted by World Violist View Post
    I've looked at his Porgy and Bess recording for a while now (now a part of EMI's "Great Recordings of the Century"), but otherwise I've somewhat lost interest in Rattle. I agree that he has his place, but I tend to think it isn't my kind of place.
    Here's a great recording for you, WV:



    He left me completely breathless with this performance. It totally outdoes the VPO performance. The audio is also simply outstanding. That first movement is really something special in the hands of Rattle. That's all it took after hearing that movement. I became a Rattle devotee after that.

    Now granted, as I mentioned above, I think he's only good in the late-Romantic and 20th Century repertoires. As long as you stay within this framework, I think you'll be fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by World Violist View Post
    I've looked at his Porgy and Bess recording for a while now (now a part of EMI's "Great Recordings of the Century"), but otherwise I've somewhat lost interest in Rattle. I agree that he has his place, but I tend to think it isn't my kind of place.

    That recording is undoubtably one of the Crown Jewels of my collection. I would never give it up for anything, so many perfect things in it.

    But alas, I'll have to play devil's advocate and say i'm not particularly fond of his Mahler, it's satisfying, but not great.
    I adore art...when I am alone with my notes, my heart pounds and the tears stream from my eyes, and my emotion and my joys are too much to bear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeGreen View Post
    That recording is undoubtably one of the Crown Jewels of my collection. I would never give it up for anything, so many perfect things in it.

    But alas, I'll have to play devil's advocate and say i'm not particularly fond of his Mahler, it's satisfying, but not great.
    You don't like his Mahler? Have you heard the entire cycle?

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