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Prom 69: Mendelssohn, Mahler

Pianist Saleem Abboud Ashkar and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra under Riccardo Chailly perform Mendelssohn's youthful First Concerto. Plus Mahler's valedictory Tenth Symphony.

Presented by Petroc Trelawny.

As part of Mendelssohn's bicentenary celebrations, Riccardo Chailly conducts the orchestra of which the composer himself was music director for the last 12 years of his life. Palestinian-Israeli pianist Saleem Abboud Ashkar is soloist in Mendelssohn's youthful First Concerto which he completed in just three days at the age of 22.

It is followed by Mahler's Tenth Symphony, which was was left unfinished at his death but was triumphantly premiered at the 1964 Proms in a 'performing version' prepared by musicologist Deryck Cooke and Berthold Goldschmidt. Written in the shadow of failing health and a collapsing marriage to his young wife Alma, Mahler scribbled notes in the margins of the manuscript. At one point he writes 'to live for you, to die for you', and over the tender, peaceful ending, when he seems to have come to some resolution, he writes just one word 'Almschi' - his nickname for his wife.

Saleem Abboud Ashkar (piano)
Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
Riccardo Chailly (conductor)

Mendelssohn: Piano Concerto No 1 in G minor, Op 25
Mahler, compl Cooke: Symphony No 10

Followed by the first a series of recent recordings by the BBC performing groups:

Bingham: Ghost Towns of the American West
BBC Singers
David Hill (director)

Spoliansky: Suite (The Man who Could Work Miracles)
Ileana Ruhemann (flute)
BBC Concert Orchestra
Rumon Gamba (conductor).

2 hours, 15 minutes