WALTON Portsmouth Point Overture
RACHMANINOV Piano Concerto No.2
SIBELIUS Symphony No.2
Mark Wigglesworth Conductor
Khatia Buniatishvili Piano
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Opening the concert is Walton’s Portsmouth Point Overture, a musical picture-postcard of the seaside town that charmingly evokes the frivolity and carefreeness of a day at the beach. Following is Rachmaninov’s fiery Piano Concerto No.2, a stunning work of Romantic colour and passion. The simple elegance of the adagio sostenuto contrasts with the dramatic tension of the final movement, culminating in a powerful and enthralling conclusion.
Closing the concert is Sibelius’ Symphony No.2, a piece that defined Sibelius’ impact on his home country of Finland’s musical voice and identity. Opening the symphony are short, fragmentary motifs that connect and develop until the glorious final theme reveals itself in the last movement, interpreted by many as an unequivocal call for independence.