Mythical beasts abound, in pieces by Debussy, Sibelius and Stravinsky.
As a teenager Sibelius discovered the violin, writing ‘When I play, I am filled with a strange feeling; it is as though the insides of the music opened up to me.’ He dreamed of becoming a virtuoso violinist and seriously pursued a performing career through his early twenties. Unfortunately, his late start combined with stage fright, prevented his dream from coming true. Many years later, however, his love of the instrument would find an outlet in one of his greatest masterpieces: the Violin Concerto in D minor. It glitters with the snow of the Finnish landscape and is heart-breaking, brooding, vulnerable and utterly beautiful.
The concert closes with another mythical beast, Stravinsky's dazzling, iconic Firebird. Astonishingly, Stravinsky was barely known when he was approached to write for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, but Diaghilev had picked a winner, and The Firebird was the first of several glorious collaborations between the composer and the ballet company. It brings together characters from around half a dozen Russian fairy-tales to tell a thrilling story of a dashing prince, his beautiful princess and an evil wizard - but good wins the day with the help of the magical bird.
- Tickets £10 - £32