Venue Details: Lighthouse
- Stravinsky : The Fairy's Kiss Divertimento
- Knussen : Violin Concerto
- Sibelius : Pohjola's Daughter
- Sibelius : Symphony No.7
- Conductor : Rory Macdonald
- Soloist: Clio Gould (Violin)
Stravinsky's ballet The Fairy's Kiss, based on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Maiden, was later rewritten for violin and piano and it was this score which became the basis for the orchestral divertimento. It is eminently listenable music, the familiar Tchaikovsky songs and piano pieces transformed with all the considerable affection, wit, and imagination available to this composer genius.
About his concerto Oliver Knussen noted, "At times the violinist resembles a tightrope walker, progressing along a (decidedly unstable) high wire strung across the span that separates the opening and closing sounds of the piece." The image is telling: it captures at once the solo writing, which favours the highest register of the instrument, and the delicate balance between soloist and orchestra throughout.
Pohjola's Daughter is the only work Sibelius labelled a "symphonic fantasy”. Like so many of his other descriptive works, it was inspired by Finland's national epic, the Kalevala. In terms of sheer orchestral opulence, Sibelius never surpassed what he achieved in this score, evoking the vastness of the setting and the brilliant colours of Pohjola’s rainbow.
Sibelius’ final symphony is the culmination of a lifetime of work in the direction of concision, compression and organic unity within symphonic form. It charts a unique one-movement path, as themes and ideas mingle together without borders, a seamless tapestry of motifs, all interrelated, all rigorously and logically controlled so as to create, as he expressed it, “an inner connection between all the motifs.”
“No figure in British contemporary music is more respected than Oliver Knussen” (The Guardian)
Supported by Terence and Annette O'Rourke