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BBC SO/Lintu

Journey's End

Pianist Jonathan Biss is in the centre of the frame, with BBC Symphony Orchestra branding around the edge of the image

Hear evocative musical journeys by composers past and present – a sleigh-ride through frozen Finland, a road-trip from LA to San Diego and a fateful Austrian carriage-ride.

After visiting his wounded nephew Karl in Gneixendorf in December 1826, Beethoven became ill as he travelled home to Vienna. Weeks later, the composer was dead – Karl his sole heir. One of his last completed works, the Grosse Fugue, moves through themes in an unfolding musical journey – tonight we hear its string arrangement by Felix Weingartner.

Brett Dean’s brand-new work is one of a series instigated by the pianist Jonathan Biss, each reflecting a piano concerto by Beethoven. Gneixendorf Music responds to the composer’s Emperor Concerto and takes the composer’s fateful winter journey of 1826 as its theme. Journeys of other sorts complete the concert: Kaija Saariaho’s work inspired by a drive across California and Jean Sibelius’s musical depiction of a sleigh ride from Helsinki to Kerava.

The performance ends at approximately 9.30pm, with a 20-minute interval

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