Letter: Playing second fiddle to Mahler's music

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The Independent Online
Sir: I fear I may have been the girl who 'drifted into sleep' mentioned in Robert Cowan's article 'Storming the gates of Heaven' (11 October) about the London Symphony Orchestra's Mahler Festival. If I was sitting next to Mr Cowan, I do wish that I had told him that the reason the leader of the orchestra, Alexander Barantschik, had two violins for Mahler's Fourth Symphony was that the second movement requires the solo violin to be tuned a tone higher than usual - to sound like a village fiddle.

It was a pity he did not mention how wonderfully Mr Barantschik played both instruments.

Yours faithfully,


Milton, Cambridgeshire

11 October