MARK-ANTHONY TURNAGE Remembering 'In Memoriam Evan Scofield' (world premiere, LSO co-commission*)
MAHLER Symphony No 6
Sir Simon Rattle conductor
London Symphony Orchestra
Sir Simon Rattle and the LSO give the world premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Remembering. The work is written in memory of Evan Scofield, the son of guitarist John Scofield, with whom Turnage worked closely on earlier compositions, who died of cancer at the age of 25. “Across the 30-minute span I was determined there should be enough variety to reflect Evan Scofield as an original and positive person, avoiding a mournful tone throughout, opening up a wider humanity,” he says. “The final movement is definitely not a traditional summing up: it’s an expressive ‘Song for Evan’ as if his voice is heard through the orchestra.”
Mahler’s Sixth Symphony is disturbing in its nihilistic despair yet attains a true and monumental grandeur. The orchestral forces used are formidable: eight horns, six trumpets, four trombones, two harps and celesta and strings to match. Yet while it was written at one of the happiest times in Mahler’s life, march-rhythms haunt the symphony. And in the final movement, the extensive percussion section is augmented by a huge hammer for three blows of fate, leading to perhaps the bleakest ending in all music.
* Commissioned by the London Symphony Orchestra, Stiftung Berliner Philharmoniker and Boston Symphony Orchestra