The Sunday Telegraph published at the weekend a glorious hagiolatry of ‘Britain’s greatest living conductor’ by one of his cheery old chums, the cricket writer, Michael Henderson.
Today, it balances that effusion with a somewhat more sober assessment of Rattle’s future. Sample:
Rattle let me know of his resentment when, a dozen years ago, I named him “the Tony Blair of classical music”. Both men now risk being cast as desert-island survivors of a brief age known as Cool Britannia.
What Rattle does next is in his own hands. He is engaged in an intense flirtation with the London Symphony Orchestra and is campaigning for a world-class concert hall, something London has lacked for 75 years. If he signs on with the LSO, replacing the distracted Valery Gergiev, he will bring much-needed charisma to a scene that has lost its lustre. But Rattle insists he will not return to live in London; his third wife, the Czech mezzo Magdalena Kozena and their three small children are based in Berlin.
Rattle, who always scorned “long distance conductors”, risks becoming one himself. At 60, he remains partly undefined, between two stools, uncertain of his place in history.
Read on here.
photo: Chris Christodoulou/Lebrecht Music&Arts