Sakari Oramo conducts the BBC Symphony Orchestra in Prokofiev's Sixth Symphony.
Live from the Royal Albert Hall, London
Presented by Petroc Trelawny
Tonight's Prom opens with a new work which composer Fung Lam describes as "elegant, understated and highly lyrical". An intensely romantic lyricism also characterises Rachmaninov's popular concerto, while Prokofiev takes up a darker theme in his dramatic 6th Symphony, which looks back to the Second World War.
Fung Lam's "Endless Forms" is inspired by the last sentence of Darwin's "The Origin of Species", and "celebrates an insight into the diversity of life", explains the composer. "The title also relates to Buddhism's view of life as endless cycles of forms: birth, death, rebirth. The subject of spiritual enlightenment is a recurring theme in my output." Rachmaninov's 2nd Piano Concerto is the triumphant work that crowned his recovery from a period of crippling depression in 1901. Prokofiev's bleak and powerful 6th Symphony is perhaps the most personal and poignant of his symphonies, completed in the exhausted aftermath of the Second World War and with mounting pressures on the Soviet Front.
Prokofiev: Symphony No. 6 in E flat minor
Kirill Gerstein (piano)
Sakari Oramo (conductor)
This Prom will be repeated on Friday 20th July at 2pm.
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