Under 14s must be accompanied by an adult aged 18+
Sir Mark Elder conductor
Giselle Allen soprano
Sarah Castle mezzo-soprano
Stuart Jackson tenor
Neal Davies bass
Prokofiev Symphony No. 7
Beethoven Symphony No. 9 ‘Choral’
Our celebrations of Beethoven’s 250th anniversary begin with this concert featuring his epic final symphony. Beethoven’s Ninth revisits the revolutionary impulses of his Third and Fifth symphonies but its journey from darkness to light travels through more daunting terrain. It concludes unforgettably with a heaven-storming finale that adds a chorus and four soloists to proclaim its message of hope and friendship. The audacity of its ambition and its vocal writing not only ensured its immediate success but also set a course for several later composers.
Over a century later, Sergei Prokofiev was also looking to reinvent the symphony but in the case of his Seventh, he sought a simpler, more direct style. This was partly driven by his intention to write for the USSR Children’s Radio Division, but also helped him to avoid being censured for the “decadent formalism” of his more experimental works. Whatever the impulse, the Seventh is full of verve and wit, and bathed in Prokofiev’s long-breathed melodies.