The Rock was Rachmaninov’s first published orchestral work. Inspired by a Chekhov short story its three movements follow the sequence of Midday, Twilight, Midnight; an allegory for life’s journey which is echoed in what was to be his final work, the Symphonic Dances. The music suggests a new direction that he might have pursued had fate granted him more time. In contrast to the luscious harmonies and sweeping melodic lines that characterise his earlier style, it offers a more modern sound of leaner textures, sharper harmonies and more concise motifs, creating a wondrous kaleidoscope of instrumental colours before finally exploding with visceral energy. Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto is an exuberant and passionate work filled with uninhibited virtuosity. The dramatic first movement, with its altogether exceptional opening, is forged from the menacing-sounding Ukrainian folk tune titled Song of the Blind and is filled with extensive technical passages made up of rich chord sequences and scales. The finale is also based on a folk tune – a combination of hymn-like solemnity and more technical wizardry.
2023/24 BSO@Home Subscription18 livestreams for just £160 online concerts from October to May
2023/24 BSO@Home Livestream Subscription. DIgital access to 18 concerts for just £160. Enjoy the BSO from the comfort of your own home.Find out more