Beethoven’s overture quickly acquired an independent life from its original ballet. It is a straightforward and rousing curtain-raiser celebrating the heroic aspects of the mythical bringer of fire and life. The atmospheric opening of Sibelius’ only concerto casts an immediate spell of mystery. The solo violin emerges out of a murmuring bed of strings, with a long, yearning theme of ever-growing intensity, which continues to be developed throughout before reaching the thrilling finale. Tchaikovsky’s final symphony explores the metaphysics of death – the fact that we are made of flesh and blood, and that we will all die. The composer hinted to his friends and admirers that the work might contain secret messages, but he never told them what they were. “Let them guess” he said.

Works and composers

Beethoven The Creatures of Prometheus Overture
Sibelius Violin Concerto
Tchaikovsky Symphony No.6 'Pathétique'