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The whole world in a symphony

Live at the Barbican Hall, Sakari Oramo conducts the BBC Symphony Orchestra in Mahler's richly-scored Symphony No 7 and the UK premiere of Chiasma by Austrian Thomas Larcher.

Live at the Barbican Hall, Sakari Oramo conducts the BBC Symphony Orchestra in Mahler's richly-scored Symphony No. 7, and the UK premiere of Chiasma by Austrian Thomas Larcher.

Presented by Andrew McGregor

Thomas Larcher: Chiasma
Mahler: Symphony No.7

BBC Symphony Orchestra
Sakari Oramo (conductor)

"A symphony must be like the world. It must embrace everything" so said Gustav Mahler, and many think he achieved just that in his Symphony No.7 whose opening he described as '"nature roars'". Cowbells, mandolin, and tubular bells all add their colours to his shadowy, phantasmagorical vision of night, with its sinister central scherzo and the sober, night-time procession of the Andante, before darkness is swept away in the bright blaze of the finale - bringing the BBC Symphony Orchestra's 2018-19 season of Barbican Hall concerts to a powerful close.

The programme begins with Thomas Larcher's Chiasma for a similarly large orchestra including prepared piano and accordion - the third and final piece in the BBC SO's recent mini-focus on his free-thinking music. In Larcher's words: "Chiasma develops out of the juxtaposition and confrontation of motifs, and achieves a distinct dramatic ‘double-peak climax’ before collapsing into itself. In a way, this work has turned out to be a compressed micro-symphony. The special challenge I posed myself in its composition was to develop a piece within the period of ten minutes containing the entire world".

3 days left to listen

2 hours, 28 minutes

Music Played

  • Thomas Larcher

    Chiasma

    Orchestra: BBC Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Sakari Oramo.
  • Gustav Mahler

    Symphony No.7

    Orchestra: BBC Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Sakari Oramo.
  • Gabriel Fauré

    Cello Sonata No 2 in G minor, Op 117

    Performer: Alban Gerhardt. Performer: Cécile Licad.
    • HYPERION.
  • Joseph Haydn

    Symphony No 94 in G major, 'Surprise'

    Orchestra: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Conductor: Colin Davis.
    • Haydn: The London Symphonies: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra/Davis.
    • Philips.
    • 1.

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