Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts the Philharmonia Orchestra
Salonen has conducted most of Sibelius’s major orchestral works during his time as Principal Conductor of the Philharmonia. As he prepares to hand over the baton at the end of this season, he revisits the Second symphony.
Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1
Known above all for the power and grandeur of its finale, the symphony has many more distinctive moments – a bassoon theme emerges from pizzicato basses to open the second movement, and the third unleashes torrents of rushing strings.
Yefim Bronfman’s larger-than-life virtuosity and natural warmth make him a favourite with audiences worldwide, and he and Salonen are frequent concert partners. For tonight’s concert they have chosen Beethoven’s masterful Piano Concerto No. 3. A first movement full of drama and contrast heralds one of Beethoven’s dreamiest slow movements, then a playful, joyous finale.
Metacosmos, by Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir, has been described as “a rumbling, shimmering sound sculpture that completely envelops and astonishes” (NPR Music). Premiered by Esa-Pekka Salonen in New York in 2018, and since heard at the Proms and the Berlin Philharmonie, it is already well on its way to becoming a 21st century classic.
Esa-Pekka Salonen – conductor
Yefim Bronfman – piano
ANNA THORVALDSDOTTIR Metacosmos
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 3
— Interval —
SIBELIUS Symphony No. 2