Rossini’s overture to Semiramide is among his most admired works. It demands virtuosic playing from the orchestra, the wind in particular, and contains some of Rossini’s most engaging melodies. Although it feels like an overture to a comedy, it actually precedes a tragic tale based on a novel by Voltaire. It will be conducted by the winner of the CCSO’s biennial Young Conductors’ Competition.
The soloist in the monumental Piano Concerto No. 1 by Johannes Brahms is Julian Trevelyan, a young English pianist who has already won many awards and accolades. The concerto is a firm favourite among performers and listeners. It started life as a symphony but after Brahms had scored it for two pianos, he opted for the concerto format.
Symphony No. 5 by Sibelius, first performed in 1915, is among the best-loved of 20th century compositions. For many, it seems to paint a picture of the dramatic Finnish landscape, at the same time expressing some of the anxiety shared by the Finnish people during those turbulent years: a world war raging and ominous threats from neighbouring Russia on the brink of revolution. Even so, a note of optimism can be felt and shared, openly expressed in the magnificent hymn-like peroration.