BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra: Sibelius Symphony No.2
The darkness of a northern night might be long and wild but when the sun finally rises, it really rises. The revels at Peter Maxwell Davies’s Orkney wedding go on till daybreak – and you’ll hear every raucous, exuberant sound. But it’s when dawn arrives that the full splendour of his vision really becomes clear, in a blaze of bagpipes. Sibelius would have understood: after all, Finns know a thing or two about the cycles of nature, and he once compared his Second Symphony to a great river – gathering strength from many streams before flowing majestically to the sea. In other words, it’s crowned with one of the most stirring tunes he ever wrote. It’s a magnificent complement to Tchaikovsky’s battle-royale of a First Piano Concerto – a work as popular as it is dramatic, and a thrilling showcase for the prizewinning Russian pianist Yulianna Avdeeva.
Prelude: 6.45pm in the Recital Room (free to ticket-holders, subject to seating availability): Dr Leah Broad, Lecturer in Music at Christ Church, Oxford, introduces Sibelius’s Second Symphony.
The concert will be recorded by BBC Radio 3 for broadcast in ‘Radio 3 in Concert’ on 28 October 2019 at 7.30pm - the presenter is Andrew McGregor. It will then be available to stream or download for 30 days via ‘BBC Sounds’, where you can also find podcasts and music mixes.