Saturday 29 March 2014

BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican

On the evening of Wednesday 26th March 2014 I attended the BBC Symphony Orchestra concert at the Barbican in the City of London. This performance featured Conductor Sakari Oramo and Violinist Leila Josefowicz. The programme consisted of Pohjola's Daughter - Sibelius, Violin Concerto - Esa-Pekka Salonen and Symphony No. 5 - Shostakovich.

Esa-Pekka Salonen’s 2009 award-winning Violin Concerto ‘Out of Nowhere’ is a portrait of the phenomenal soloist Leila Josefowicz, who gave this UK premiere. Praised at its LA Philharmonic premiere for its ‘pure, euphoric poetry’, it’s a work which lends itself to Josefowicz’s visceral intensity. This was a fantastic performance from Leila Josefowicz.

In its pulsing central movements, we may find echoes of Sibelius’s driving repetitions in his dark re-telling of Pojhola’s Daughter, in which the daughter of the north, astride a rainbow, mocks the love-lorn Väinämöinen. This concert ended with one of Shostakovich’s most popular symphonies, No 5: its heroic classicism may have affected the composer’s political rehabilitation, but its essential defiance came blazing through. I had another amazing night at the Barbican full of amazing Classical Music.

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