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Rachmaninov's Rhapsody

BBC Symphony Orchestra/Rakitina

Lise de la Salle looking at the camera, with purple and pink circular lines framing her face

Three composers, three dramatic meditations on Fate and the Day of Judgement.  Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony maps a journey from darkness to light, reflecting the crisis of his collapsed marriage.

It’s an emotional white-knuckle ride, from the blazing opening brass fanfare – through pain, anguish, daydreams and nostalgia – ending in hard-won triumph.

Sofia Gubaidulina was one of the first composers to gain ground in the West after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and her Russian Orthodox faith has inspired scores of power and sensuality. The Wrath of God – receiving its London premiere – is no exception. Harnessing large orchestral forces, it contemplates the Day of Judgement in a gripping display of intensity and mystery, cast in cinematic colours.

The Dies irae (the plainchant denoting the ‘Day of Wrath’) lurks within a number of Rachmaninov’s works. The Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini is one of them, but what’s more telling is the heart-stoppingly lush 18th Variation, and the dazzling hi-jinks for the piano soloist.

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

Produced by BBC Symphony Orchestra

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