Thursday 19 April 2012

Sibelius at The Barbican

After spending the afternoon in Greenwich and a dinner of coconut dhal, spicy rice, naan bread and mango chutney in the Barbican Foodhall I was ready for the BBC Symphony Orchestra concert at The Barbican on the evening of Friday 13th April 2012. Another night to remember in the City of London.

The programme consisted of En saga - Sibelius, Violin Concerto in B minor - Dvarionas and Symphony No.2 in D major - Sibelius. Conductor on the evening was Thomas Sondergard with Vadim Gluzman as soloist on the Dvarionas Violin Concerto.

The symphonic poem En saga was composed by Sibelius in 1892 and revised in 1902. The title translate both in Swedish and Finnish as A Fairy Tale. Sibelius claimed that the atmosphere of the tone poem was similar to the Eddas of Norse mythology which was a major source for Wagner's Ring cycle.

Dvarionas composed his Violin Concerto in 1948, which is the first Violin Concerto by any Lithuanian composer. The music was inspired by his love of the Baltic coast. Tonight was the UK premiere of the piece with Vadim Gluzman playing brilliantly with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

Sibelius music represents Finland and the North and his Symphony No.2 is truly a masterpiece. Composed in 1901/02 Sibelius dedicated his Second Symphony to Axel Carpelan. Much of the music was written in Rome and on the Ligurian coast making this in many respects as Sibelius's Italian Symphony.

This was another wonderful evening at The Barbican with Thomas Sondergard and the BBC Symphony Orchestra putting on a powerful performance of Sibelius's Symphony No.2. A night to celebrate the music of Jean Sibelius which is full of all human emotions.

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