BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra: Elgar’s Second Symphony Classical

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra: Elgar’s Second Symphony

Butterworth                     A Shropshire Lad: Rhapsody for orchestra (c.12 mins)
Sir James MacMillan      Viola Concerto (c.31 mins)
Elgar                               Symphony No.2 (c.56 mins)

Lawrence Power    viola
Richard Farnes      conductor

Elgar’s Second Symphony begins in a great, glowing surge of confidence and pride. Then something happens – the layers peel away, the shadows darken, and we hear a great artist laying bare his damaged soul with an intensity and truth unprecedented in British music. It’s unforgettable: an emotional autobiography on a par with Mahler, and a fitting counterpart to the terrible beauty of Butterworth’s A Shropshire Lad, performed to mark the 100th anniversary of its composer’s death on the Somme. Sir James MacMillan’s new Viola Concerto, meanwhile, weds the dusky sound of the viola to orchestral writing of fiery brilliance and dark passion. Richard Farnes conducts its dedicatee, Lawrence Power.

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