Echoes of HomeThu 11 April 2019
THE GREAT HALL, UNIVERSITY OF EXETER
Jamie Phillips conductor
Denis Kozhukin piano
With Sibelius already a star in his native Finland, his First Symphony was eagerly awaited. It did not disappoint. Never before had a work of such stature emerged from Northern Europe, unveiling the previously unheard character of Nordic music. Although not nationalistic, it is clearly a work by a skilled composer who already had a musical voice of his own, and much of the musical personality that makes his later symphonies so distinctive is already visible. Sounding ‘old’ and ‘new’ at the same time, with tempestuous mood-swings, it is both dramatic and austere throughout.
Despite its popularity, Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto remains refreshingly original with its exciting and exceptional opening, and richly forged musical dramas of powerful virtuosity and uncommon sensitivity. Vltavais the most frequently performed of the six pictorial tableaux of Smetana’s Má Vlast. It depicts the flow of the eponymous river from its source in the Šumava Mountains to Prague and beyond, on the way passing a hunting party and a village wedding.
Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.1
Sibelius Symphony No.1