Colin Matthews’ reworking of the first movement of Mahler’s Piano Quartet transformed it into a full-blooded Mahlerian orchestral work with savagely seething climaxes. Shostakovich’s Second Piano Concerto stands miles apart from many of his other works in its sense of freedom and abandon. It is a gloriously free, wistful creation – an unrestrained delight from start to finish, particularly in the famous, soulful adagio, which guarantees the whole work’s enduring popularity. Sibelius’ dramatic and austere First Symphony is significant in that never before had a work of such stature emerged from Northern Europe, unveiling the previously unheard character of Nordic music, sounding both ‘old’ and ‘new’ at the same time.

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Works and composers

Mahler (orch. Matthews) Nicht zu schnell
Shostakovich Piano Concerto No.2
Sibelius Symphony No.1