Live from The Barbican Centre, London
Presented by Martin Handley
A burst of stamping, earthy energy from Bartok's Dance Suite sets this concert in motion, before the UK Premiere of a double concerto by Gyorgy Kurtag for violin and viola. The second half continues the BBC Symphony Orchestra's Sibelius Cycle with the 'cold clear water' of the Sixth Symphony and the stark loneliness of the Seventh.
Bartok's Dance Suite was written in 1923 to a commission to mark the 50th anniversary of the merging of the two cities of Buda and Pest into Hungary's capital. It was amongst the first of Bartok's popular successes, drawing on folk-music styles as diverse as Hungarian, Romanian and even Arabic. Kurtag's award-winning double concerto '.concertante.' has waited over eight years for its UK Premiere and is performed tonight by the work's dedicatees, the violinist Hiromi Kikuchi and violist Ken Hakii, along with a huge orchestra including a cimbalom and steel drum. The Finnish conductor Jukka-Pekka Saraste brings his Nordic expertise to this second instalment in the BBC Symphony Orchestra's Sibelius Symphony Cycle in the second half. Sibelius's Sixth Symphony was premiered in the same year as Bartok's Dance Suite - 1923 - and was supposedly described by the composer (who was no stranger to a drink) as pure spring water rather than a cocktail. The concert finishes with Sibelius's final completed symphony, his Seventh - a revolutionary work conceived in one continuous movement , and one of the last works he wrote, although he lived on another 33 years after writing it.
Bartok: Dance Suite
Kurtag: .concertante. Op.42, UK Premiere
8.10 Interval Music
Sibelius: Symphony No.6
Sibelius: Symphony No.7
Hiromi Kikuchi (violin)
Ken Hakii (viola)
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Jukka-Pekka Saraste (conductor).
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