In the second of his two concerts with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Donald Runnicles conducts a programme that looks to the past – a musical meditation on history, death and loss that still speaks powerfully, 100 years after the start of the First World War.
Written at the bleakest point in Mahler’s life, following the death of his daughter, his wife’s illness and the diagnosis of the disease that would quickly kill him, the Ninth Symphony gazes bitterly into the abyss, before bidding farewell to the world in its elegiac final movement.
The ecstatic string-writing of Vaughan Williams’s Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis looks back to his musical forebears, reimagining an English identity that would so soon find itself under threat.
There will be no interval.
Image © Simon Pauly