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Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony

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Southbank Centre: Royal Festival HallBelvedere Road, London, Greater London, SE1 8XX, United Kingdom
On Saturday 21 March 2020 at 19:30
Adams, John (b. 1947)New Work (co-commissioned by SFS and Carnegie Hall)
Mahler, Gustav (1860-1911)Symphony no. 6 in A minor "Tragic"

Mahler’s most powerfully emotive symphony sits alongside a new work by America’s unofficial composer laureate, John Adams. Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony have won seven Grammys for their recordings of Mahler’s symphonies, including one for Symphony No.6. Of their 2014 performance of Mahler’s Symphony No.3 at Royal Festival Hall, The Guardian commented: ‘‘in Tilson Thomas' superb shaping of Mahler's final slow movement, the performance touched greatness, and held on to it.’ Mahler’s forceful, passion-laden Sixth Symphony seems to have a life of its own. Myths have grown up around its three hammer blows, which seemed to Mahler to portend three blows of fate that he experienced a year after the first performance: the death of his daughter, the diagnosis of his heart condition, and his forced resignation from the Vienna opera. But the symphony Mahler may have named ‘the tragic’ is fuelled by vitally urgent emotional drama. Dark militaristic marches alternate with tender themes thought to depict his wife Alma. Despite its devastating resonances, it persists with heroic vitality in challenging the limits of musical convention.

Ticket prices: £75 £55 £45 £30 £20

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