Sibelius Fourth Symphony
Friday 1st Nov 2019 7:30PM
Nottingham Harmonic Choir
Conductor Frank Zielhorst
After completing his Fourth Symphony in 1911, Sibelius wrote in his diary that "it calls for much courage to look at life straight in the eye." Hearing this stark antidote to the opulent scores of his contemporaries, Mahler and Richard Strauss, reminds us that Sibelius's symphony was born out of personal crisis. Diagnosis and treatment for throat cancer a few years earlier had led him to search deeply within himself, evident throughout this glowering, sometimes inscrutable soundscape, but it's also a richly rewarding one, with glimpses of light and, ultimately, a steely vision of endurance.
Mozart's Requiem also, unsurprisingly, inhabits dark musical territory. Written just a few weeks before his death, in response to a mysterious commission from an unknown patron, the Requiem was for many years shrouded in mystery and Mozart's untimely end meant that much of the work had to be finished by his pupil Franz Süssmayr. What we do know is that the Requiem remains one of the most compelling of choral experiences, Mozart's sublimely expressive choral and solo vocal lines matched by gripping orchestral urgency.
This is a concert in the Nottingham Classics series.