ELGAR Cello Concerto
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No.4
Brian Wright Conductor
Michael Petrov Cello
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Opening the concert is Finlandia, Sibelius’ bold statement on a Finnish national identity that offers a glimpse of the soul of a nation and an urge to escape Russian oppression. The piece reaches a heroic climax as its stirring main theme, the Finlandia hymn, delivers an invigorating and emotionally charged invocation of Sibelius’ patriotic passion.
Elgar’s Cello Concerto is a work that proves a formidable challenge for any soloist, urging them to use their versatility and expression to find their distinctive voice in the context of the orchestration. Cellist Michael Petrov rises to the occasion, and across the four movements plays Elgar’s atmospheric post-war elegy with a sublime touch.
Concluding the programme is Tchaikovsky’s epic Symphony No.4. Completed in the wake of his catastrophic marriage, which lasted only two months, the work conveys anguish and melancholy yet at times swells with optimism as we are taken on a powerful journey from darkness to light, concluding with a thrilling life-affirming finale.