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BBC SO/Saraste

Kidane, Prokofiev and Nielsen

Photo of conductor Jukka-Pekka Saraste

Jukka-Pekka Saraste conducts three works that respond in different ways to the pandemic, to a personal loss and to the devastation of war.  

Sergei Prokofiev wrote his second concerto in 1912-1913 while still a student at the St Petersburg conservatory and premiered it with himself as soloist. The work was dedicated to his friend and fellow student Maximilian Schmidthof who took his own life just as Prokofiev was completing the score. It’s a work which makes fierce technical demands on the soloist – not least in the work’s cadenzas.
In neutral Denmark during the First World War, Carl Nielsen, looked on in horror as Europe was torn apart. The composer’s Symphony No. 4 erupts in violence, forcing two sets of drums to tear into one another from either side of a fissile orchestra. Before that we enter an oasis of calm courtesy of composer Daniel Kidane, whose Be Still is a reflection on a common experience of spring 2020 in which time itself appeared to stand still.

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

Produced by the BBC Symphony Orchestra

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