American conductor Tito Muñoz, Music Director of the Phoenix Symphony, makes his BBC Symphony Orchestra debut, as does soprano Ah Young Hong. Natasha Riordan presents the concert.
New York-based composer Nina C. Young’s starting point for her 2015 composition was Virgil’s Aeneid, where Queen Dido, long in mourning for her dead husband, is awakened from her emotional slumber by the arrival of the Trojan hero Aeneas. In an upheaval of emotion she proclaims “Agnosco veteris vestigial flammae” - “I recognize the traces of an ancient fire”. The piece explores lost memories, vestigial emotions and melancholy for the passage of time.
The script of storms by the American composer Michael Hersch receives its world premiere with soprano soloist Ah Young Hong. Hersch sets nine poems by Fawzi Karim (1945-2019), Iraqi poet and painter. Born in Baghdad in 1945, he lived in Lebanon and then London. Michael Hersch writes: “Karim’s world is a remarkable and disquieting place; a landscape of empathy, beauty, but also war and unspeakable horror... His experience of the 1958 coup he witnessed in Iraq as a boy haunts his poetry.” A dark and powerful new work, with graphic descriptions of war.
We end with Johannes Brahms' great 2nd Symphony in D major was written on a visit in the summer of 1877 to the Austrian resort of Pörtschach am Wörthersee. It’s a sunny and pastoral piece, reflecting the composer’s mood as he enjoyed his stay away from Vienna.
Please note that the texts of Michael Hersch’s the script of storms contain descriptions of a graphic nature which some people might find disturbing. This concert is not suitable for children
Nina C Young: Agnosco Veteris UK Premiere
Michael Hersch: the script of storms* World Premiere
Brahms: Symphony No. 2