Till Eulenspiegel is a prankster, a rogue; and there isn’t a sacred cow that he won’t gleefully slaughter. The authorities don’t like that: but Richard Strauss is firmly on Till’s side, and his musical portrait of this medieval German joker is quite simply one of the funniest, fastest and most delightfully irreverent romps ever conceived for a symphony orchestra. And if that isn’t quite what you expected: well, Mexican-American conductor Alondra de la Parra is used to upsetting preconceptions. No-one really knows why Schubert never got around to finishing his Eighth Symphony, but by some miracle, it’s absolutely perfect as it is – an unforgettably melodious self-portrait of a young artist facing a tragic destiny. Keyboard poet Pavel Kolesnikov takes the place of Mozart himself, in a piano concerto that bubbles over with humour and warmth. And naturally, de la Parra brings a calling card from Mexico: the spirited ‘Danzón’ with which Artúro Marquez did for mariachi music what Schubert did for Viennese folkdance.
Prelude: 6.45pm in the Recital Room (free to ticket-holders, subject to seating availability): In conversation with pianist Pavel Kolesnikov.
The concert will be recorded for future broadcast on BBC Radio 3.