“My entire relationship with music is such that I always try to reach its limits” says the Swiss composer Heinz Holliger. What he doesn’t say is that, as one of the greatest oboists of our time, everything he writes is vibrantly communicative. And however intelligent, expressive, outrageous or refined the worlds he conjures, he remains deeply in love with the infinite possibilities of an orchestra, and the sounds it makes. In this dazzling 80th birthday tribute from the BBC SSO and Principal Guest Conductor Ilan Volkov, the orchestra encounters the transistor radios, windchimes and mouth organs of 'Pneuma' (here receiving its UK Premiere in the version for smaller wind ensemble) – a sonic exploration of the process of breathing. ‘Ad Marginem’ takes the contrasting colours of a painting by Paul Klee and renders them in music from the very margins of sound. And violinist Ilya Gringolts will bring all his virtuosity and insight to bear on the UK Premiere of the Violin Concerto that Holliger wrote “as if in a delirium” in just nine days in 1995: music of piercing intimacy and epic vision. Contemporary music at its most bracing – and stimulating.
The works featured in this concert will be recorded for future broadcast on BBC Radio 3. The on stage presenter is Kate Molleson.