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BBC Symphony Orchestra/Afkham

Dark Visions, Milky Ways

David Afkham, conductor

Darkness meets light as Shostakovich’s shattering Tenth Symphony confronts music of ecstasy, beauty and soaring optimism by Olivier Messiaen and Outi Tarkiainen.

The Soviets called Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony an 'optimistic tragedy', but the reality is infinitely more complex (and compelling) than that. It’s a symphony of dark secrets and shattering power: a powerful contrast to the heavenly radiance of Messiaen’s musical prayer, and the haunting tenderness and magical new sounds of Outi Tarkiainen’s Milky Ways.

'We all began life on milky ways' says Tarkiainen; and this BBC co-commission was inspired by the glorious sound of our soloist Nicholas Daniel, whose cor anglais (says Tarkiainen) will soar 'from Mother Earth to the celestial Milky Way'. It’s a vision that Messiaen, too, would have appreciated. Shostakovich dealt with altogether more brutal truths, but some say that his Tenth is his greatest symphony, and it’ll make a gripping BBC SO debut for the 'remarkable' (Bachtrack) David Afkham.

The end time for this performance will be added closer to the performance date

Produced by BBC Symphony Orchestra