BBC Symphony Orchestra at Maida Vale
Tonight we hear two famous song cycles featuring British singers, the UK premiere of British composer Anna Clyne’s 2016 orchestral work Abstractions, and Tchaikovsky’s symphonic poem Francesca da Rimini - she was the tragic beauty immortalized in Dante’s Divine Comedy.
Benjamin Britten chose prose poems written in the 1870s whilst in the UK by the French poet Arthur Rimbaud. They are surreal and evocative texts, and Britten set them imaginatively for string orchestra.
Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfarer were written in the wake of the composer’s unhappy love for soprano Johanna Richter: he wrote the four poems himself, and they and the music reflect his emotional journey.