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BBC Philharmonic: Discovering Elgar

Theatre Royal and Royal Concert HallTheatre Square, Nottingham, Nottingham, East Midlands, NG1 5ND, United Kingdom
Dates/times in London time zone
Tuesday 22 February 202219:30
BBC Philharmonic
Mark WigglesworthConductor
Stephen JohnsonPresenter

It was the fallen Victorian military hero, Major-General Gordon, who provided the inspiration for Elgar’s First Symphony, although by the time it was completed the composer had abandoned the idea in favour of a piece of absolute music that stood on its own terms. Its premiere in 1908 attracted huge public interest and it didn’t disappoint: the conductor, Hans Richter, proclaimed it ‘the greatest symphony of modern times’ and it received over a hundred performances worldwide in the following year. As is often the case with Elgar, there’s a strong sense of poignancy throughout, not least in its glorious central adagio, but its majestic sweep also proclaims the confidence of the Edwardian age and of a composer at the height of his powers.

Leading British conductor Mark Wigglesworth is joined by broadcaster Stephen Johnson, who’ll be shedding light on the origins and form of the First Symphony, with live extracts from the BBC Philharmonic, before a performance of the complete work.

Free Pre-concert performance, 6.20pm
: Emily Hodkinson (mezzo-soprano) performs Elgar's Sea Pictures

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