“Life is indomitable and inextinguishable” wrote Carl Nielsen. “The struggle, the wrestling, the generation and the wasting away go on today as yesterday, tomorrow as today, and everything returns. Once more: music is life, and like it, inextinguishable”. Those words could serve as a motto for this elemental programme from Thomas Dausgaard; Villa-Lobos saw enchantment in the whirring of tropical insects, while the young Scottish composer Lisa Robertson senses something both universal and intensely personal in the clifftop “Seabird Cities” of St Kilda and the west of Scotland, finding human emotions where “fulmars soar, puffins feed their wailing young, seagulls fight for attention”, which here receives its UK Premiere. The energy is tangible in a brand-new concerto for electric violin by the dynamic Mexican composer Enrico Chapela; Finnish virtuoso Pekka Kuusisto is the soloist in the world premiere performance of this ‘Scottish Inspirations’ BBC Commission. And of course there’s the unstoppable life-force of Nielsen himself – whose powerful and poignant final symphony feels more like a new beginning than the end of an incredible adventure.
Prelude: 6.45pm in the Recital Room (free to ticket-holders, subject to seating availability): In conversation with violinist Pekka Kuusisto.
The concert will be recorded for future broadcast on BBC Radio 3.