Mark Wigglesworth returns with a poignant program featuring Britain’s finest musical geniuses. Edward Elgar took nearly a decade to write his First Symphony, which was immediately hailed as a phenomenal success. While the lush slow movement is likened to the adagios of Beethoven and Mahler, the Symphony’s beauty is its own legacy. Tenor Nicky Spence takes the spotlight alongside the strings in Benjamin Britten’s Les Illuminations. Setting the haunting verses of Arthur Rimbaud, the song cycle portrays life as a “savage parade” in ethereal declarations of love and rumblings of sinister underworlds. Igor Stravinsky paints a masterful mosaic in which winds and brass flow between fanfares, folk-tunes and a somber final chorale, all dedicated to the memory of Claude Debussy.
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