When: Saturday 11th May 7:30pm
Where: Royal Festival Hall
A great live performance of Tchaikovsky’s final symphony is among the richest emotional experiences in classical music.
The composer himself called it ‘the best thing I have composed or will ever compose’, and to many listeners it encompasses hope and despair, joy and heartbreak, life and death.
At the height of his powers, Tchaikovsky overturned many of the conventions of the symphony.
The second movement, which at first sounds like a graceful waltz, in fact has an unsettling five beats in a bar.
The third ends with a blaze of brass and percussion which would have made the perfect triumphant finale, and the actual finale, marked ‘Adagio Lamentoso’, ends with a devastating descent into silence.
But first, violinist Viktoria Mullova brings her exceptional musicianship to Sibelius’s Violin Concerto. It casts its spell with soulful melody, rhythmic power and flights of virtuosity.
Mullova is a regular collaborator with conductor Paavo Järvi, whose most recent performance with the Philharmonia was praised for “absolute precision, full-bodied sound, a lethal punch” (The Times).