7.30pm, Thursday 23 January 2020
Conductor: Russell Keable
Queen Elizabeth Hall
Symphony No. 4
Brahms’ Piano Concerto No.2 – a magnificent piece of musical architecture – is paired with the spiritual journey of MacMillan’s Symphony No.4.
Written on a grand scale, the symphonic Second Piano Concerto’s mellow and serene first movement is followed by an exhilarating tussle between piano and orchestra in the second.
A solo cello shares the limelight in the lyrical slow movement, while the entertaining finale strews instantly memorable themes in profusion.
One of the leading composers of his generation, Scottish-born James MacMillan always aims at direct emotional and dramatic communication.
Begun in 2014, his Fourth Symphony was written in homage to Robert Carver, the most important Scottish composer of the High Renaissance.
In one continually evolving movement, the work explores the 'rituals of movement, exhortation, petition and joy', with plaintive melodies, atmospheric string clusters and resplendent chorales.