Sibelius and Arvo Pärt: our winter programme brings together two great composers in a concert of meditative, snowy beauty and drama.
Arvo Pärt is of the most performed living composers in the world; he has enthralled listeners for decades, evoking a haunting spirituality though space and simplicity. The Estonian’s music is mesmerising, ranging from sacred choral work to chamber and orchestral landscapes. We begin with the enduringly popular Spiegel im Spiegel, a soulful violin and piano duo; then a rare chance to hear Lamentate, his dramatic ritual for piano and large orchestra, written for a collaboration with Anish Kapoor at the opening of Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall in 2002. A powerful lament for the pain of living, Pärt describes the music oscillating between ‘brutal-overwhelming and intimate-fragile,’ and it’s his mightiest work to date.
We’re delighted to welcome back the eminent conductor Sian Edwards, who continues with Sibelius’ blazing, ecstatic second symphony. It was a beacon for Finnish independence as well as personal liberation: ‘My second symphony is a confession of the soul,’ the composer wrote, and it’s become one of Sibelius’s most loved works.