At the heart of this afternoon celebration of the BBC SO’s 90th anniversary is a live concert from the orchestra’s Maida Vale studios presenting a ‘mixtape’ of Anglo–Finnish music.
Weaving through the programmes is Sibelius’s patriotic Scènes historiques, part of which was played by the orchestra on its 1956 tour of Scandinavia under Malcolm Sargent. Interspersed among these musical scenes from Finland’s proud history are British works spanning four centuries – from Purcell (‘the British Orpheus’), through Vaughan Williams, Finzi and Britten, to today’s Master of The Queen’s Music, Judith Weir. The BBC SO’s long association with music from the United States is represented by a recording from last year with Dalia Stasevska of African-American composer George Walker’s Lyric for Strings.
Framing the concert are recordings by the BBC SO of works by Finnish composers Einojuhani Rautavaara and Lotta Wennäkoski, and performances including Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring from the orchestra’s 80th-anniversary concert at London’s Barbican in 2010, conducted by David Robertson.
RAUTAVAARA Into the Heart of Light (Canto V)*
SIBELIUS Scènes historiques (Suite No. 2), Op. 66 – No. 1 The Chase*
PURCELL Fantasia Upon One Note*
SIBELIUS Scènes historiques (Suite No. 2), Op. 66 – No. 2 The Minnesong*
JUDITH WEIR Still, Glowing* (London premiere)
KNUSSEN ...upon one note - Fantasia After Purcell*
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS Fantasia on Greensleeves*
SIBELIUS Scènes historiques (Suite No. 2), Op. 66 – No. 3: On the Drawbridge
WALKER Lyric for Strings
FINZI Let us Garlands bring*
BRITTEN Sinfonia da Requiem
WAGNER The Flying Dutchman – overture
LOTTA WENNÄKOSKI Hava (UK premiere)
STRAVINSKY The Rite of Spring
*Conducted by Dalia Stasevska, live from Maida Vale Studios
The afternoon is presented by Petroc Trelawny and you can hear it on BBC Radio 3 and on BBC Sounds for 30 days.