The human spirit is a remarkable phenomenon. It gives us the power to dig deep into our reserves to find resilience and defiance against unimaginable odds. Witness the extraordinary circumstances behind the first Leningrad performance of Shostakovich's Seventh Symphony in 1942.
But it also imparts on us the wonders of experiencing life through a wide array of more joyful and uplifting emotions – Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor, with its tenderness and sheer joie de vivre, is a fine example. With this in mind, Marin Alsop and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra brought these thoughts together in a programme showing the human condition at its most joyous, stirring, forthright, sad, angry and defiant.