Wednesday 6 December 2017
Barbican Centre London
Music from the young Sibelius to mark the centenary of Finnish Independence, ending with the First Symphony, a noble and magnificent symphonic debut.
To mark Finnish Independence Day – on December 6 1917, Finland ended its autonomy as a Grand Duchy within Russia and became a republic – the BBC SO’s Finnish Chief Conductor offers a programme by Finland’s greatest composer. Sibelius’s Press Celebrations Music contains what would later emerge as Finlandia which soon became a defiant unofficial national anthem. Guy Johnson plays two rarities for cello and orchestra, originally written in 1915 for church use, and which share the same opus number. The BBC SO’s Sibelius’s symphony cycle continues with the powerful First from 1899, a time when the Russian Emperor was flexing his muscles at the Finnish people, giving the music an almost political charge.
Sibelius Press Celebrations Music (UK Premiere)
Cantique and Devotion
Symphony No 1
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Sakari Oramo conductor
Guy Johnston cello
Rarely heard Press Celebrations Music
Barbican Centre London 6 December 2017 (Finland´s Independence Day)