In his only U.S. orchestra guest conducting appearance of the season, Simon Rattle, fiery leader of the esteemed Berlin Philharmonic and regular Philadelphia Orchestra collaborator, returns to Verizon Hall for one night only, bringing “his characteristic combination of strategy, intellectualism, and heat.” (The Philadelphia Inquirer) He leads Mahler’s fateful Symphony No. 6—a work so overflowing with emotion and consequence, it literally calls for hammer blows to express its depths. The work’s nickname—“Tragic”—is a bit of mystery; it was written during a relatively carefree period in Mahler’s life. Perhaps the composer had premonitions of the unhappy fate that awaited him. For our audiences, though, there’s nothing in store but amazement.