Jean Sibelius’s rich catalogue of music has become emblematic, even iconic, in his homeland. Few countries and composers seem so connected as Sibelius and Finland: the country and its often stunning natural landscapes were a constant inspiration to the composer, and the music he wrote in response – such as the First Symphony – paints them in lucid, widescreen Technicolor. Edward Elgar’s colourful Cockaigne is also rooted in a specific place, but one with a very different character: the chaotic, burgeoning city of London at the dawn of the 20th century. The centrepiece of tonight’s programme, though, emerged from Russia ten years earlier from the pen of a teenager, and Rachmaninov’s First Piano Concerto absolutely hums with the vitality of youth. It’s performed tonight by the great pianist Kathryn Stott – Lancashire native, Manchester resident and longtime friend of the BBC Philharmonic. Sir Andrew Davis joins the orchestra to conduct.
Sir Andrew Davis – Conductor
Kathryn Stott – Piano