Sibelius – Symphony No. 6 (27’)
Tippett – Piano Concerto (33’)
Stravinsky – Symphony in C (30’)
In the pantheon of British composers who lived and worked over the last century or so, Michael Tippett sometimes gets slightly lost: overshadowed by the unfailing popularity of precursors such as Elgar and Vaughan Williams; by the legend of Benjamin Britten, a contemporary; and by the uncompromising brilliance of the generation that followed in his footsteps, led by the likes of Harrison Birtwhistle and Peter Maxwell Davies. Yet Tippett is at least the equal of them all – and his Piano Concerto, marrying pastoral lyricism with spiky modernity, is a landmark in his quite singular catalogue. Steven Osborne, who made the definitive recording a few years ago, performs it as the centrepiece of this concert under conductor Sir Andrew Davis. It’s bookended by two symphonies by 20th-century pioneers: Sibelius’s Sixth, perhaps the most influential work by one of music’s great symphonists, and Igor Stravinsky’s Symphony in C, written, in the composer’s own words, ‘to the glory of God’.
Steven Osborne – piano
Sir Andrew Davis – conductor