Wolfgang Rihm Nähe-Fern-1 (UK premiere) Mahler Songs from Des Knaben Wunderhorn Shostakovich Symphony No 11
BBC Symphony Orchestra Ingo Metzmacher conductor Johan Reuter baritone
High, gleaming sonorities and a sense of enchantment link Wolfgang Rihm’s new piece with Mahler’s beguiling songs from the magical folktale collection, Des Knaben Wunderhorn, sung by the much sought-after Danish baritone Johan Reuter. Songs of a very different kind permeate Shostakovich’s dramatic 11th Symphony, an almost cinematic evocation of the 1905 Revolution. The composer wove nine popular revolutionary songs into his dramatic portrayal, with its ominous, icy opening and terrifying Bloody Sunday massacre during which 1,000 workers were gunned down. Shostakovich chose the dark-toned violas for his poignant lament for the dead, before a tumultuous finale that whips up an urgent fervour for justice.
BBC SO Plus Pre-concert talk, 6.00pm, Fountain Room An introduction to the music in tonight’s concert