Part of the BBC Proms.In Mahler’s Ninth Symphony, the composer – who would not live to hear its premiere – bid ‘farewell to all whom he loved’. The words ‘’Leb’ wohl!’ (‘farewell’) are written onto the score itself, transformed into a theme that becomes the heartbeat of the whole work. It’s a poignant choice for Sir Simon Rattle’s final UK performance as Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra. Death and life collide in a symphony haunted by loss but urgently clinging to dance and song. The finale, however, looks beyond, closing with a vision of distant hills where the sun is shining. Opening the Prom is Poulenc’s choral masterpiece Figure humaine, a hymn to freedom from occupied France, performed by the BBC Singers.