Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

BBC Symphony Orchestra - Schreker, Nicola Lefanu and Rachmaninov

Live from the Barbican, Ilan Volkov conducts the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Schreker: Nachtstuck (Der ferne Klang). Nicola Lefanu: The Crimson Bird. Rachmaninov: Symphony No 3.

Live from the Barbican. The BBC Symphony Orchestra, conductor Ilan Volkov, in Rachmaninov & Schrecker. Soprano Rachel Nicholls joins to premiere Nicola Lefanu's The Crimson Bird.

Presented by Martin Handley

Franz Schreker: Nachtstück - Interlude from Der ferne Klang (Act III)
Nicola Lefanu: The Crimson Bird (World Premiere)

8.00 pm Interval

8.20 pm
Rachmaninov: Symphony No.3

Rachel Nicholls (soprano)
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Ilan Volkov (conductor)

Rachmaninov's final symphony concludes a concert that includes Franz Schreker's interlude from his opera Der ferne Klang (The Distant Sound) and a brand new work, The Crimson Bird, by Nicola LeFanu.

Nicola LeFanu unveils her new Royal Philharmonic Society commission, a work for soprano and orchestra, with Ilan Volkov, a passionate champion of the new, on the podium. It is a setting of four specially written poems by John Fuller linked to Euripides' play the Trojan Women.

A child of fin-de-siècle Vienna, opera composer Schreker's ravishingly beautiful Nachtstück forms the lush opener. Rachmaninov's last symphony, though written in America, far from the composer's homeland, is deeply entrenched in his Russian heritage. Dark, brooding sonorities give way to a triumphant, celebratory conclusion.

2 hours, 30 minutes

Music Played

  • Part 1

    • Franz Schreker


      Orchestra: BBC Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Ilan Volkov.
    • Nicola LeFanu

      The Crimson Bird

      Singer: Rachel Nicholls. Orchestra: BBC Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Ilan Volkov.
  • Interval

    • Elizabeth Maconchy

      Clarinet Quintet (1963)

      Performer: Thea King. Ensemble: Britten String Quartet.
      • Hyperion.
    • Elizabeth Maconchy

      Nocturnal - Movements 2 and 3

      Choir: BBC Singers. Conductor: Odaline de la Martinez.
      • Hyperion.
  • Part 2

    • Sergey Rachmaninov

      Symphony no. 3 in A minor Op.44

      Orchestra: BBC Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Ilan Volkov.
  • Post-concert

    • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

      Piano Sonata in B flat, K281

      Performer: Alfred Brendel.
      • Philips.
    • Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni

      Oboe Concerto in F, Op. 9 No. 3

      Performer: Anthony Robson. Performer: Catherine Latham. Orchestra: Collegium Musicum 90. Director: Simon Standage.
      • Chaconne.


Role Contributor
Performer BBC Symphony Orchestra


The women erased from musical history

The women erased from musical history

Discover the music of five forgotten women composers, performed in a special IWD concert.

Three Great British Brass Band Pieces

Three Great British Brass Band Pieces

Music by Malcolm Arnold, Edward Elgar and Herbert Howells.