We are performing in this fabulous concert with the BBC Philharmonic at 7.30pm and we can’t wait because it’s always a pleasure to perform at the Bridgewater Hall!
First, a call to arms. Composed during the Napoleonic Wars whilst revolution was spreading across Europe, you can hear in Beethoven’s Egmont overture its growling basses, stormy strings, and heraldic brass. Injustice, heroism and rebellion against oppression are all condensed into this minidrama of an overture.
The might of Beethoven later inspired Bruckner but his music takes us to a place of contemplation rather than controversy, because his symphonies are written to the glory of God, with an architecture to match. John Storgårds has already taken his vision of Bruckner to Vienna and Berlin, and now Manchester, in the first of three instalments in this season.
We also pay homage to the late Finnish composer Saariaho, widely regarded as one of the finest of recent years. In Leino Songs, filigree textures and bold colours are influenced by her birthplace Finland, and France which is her adopted home. Her highly individual style is transcendental and lingers long in the memory.