Thursday, 21 December 2017, 8.00 pm
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Symphony No 41 C major, KV 551 "Jupiter"
Symphony No 2 G minor, op 34
Herbert Blomstedt, Conductor
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Having reached the age of 90, Herbert Blomstedt is perhaps the senior figure among the great conductors of our time. Whatever the case, he is a unique phenomenon, incomparable in his inspiring vitality at the rostrum and his infectious, heartfelt love for music-making. Blomstedt is fond of mixing the familiar with the unfamiliar on his programmes, and he does just this in his most recent appearance with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, with which he has enjoyed a close friendship since 2005. This time he presents a monumental late-romantic work from his native Sweden: Wilhelm Stenhammar’s Symphony no. 2. A superb pianist, conductor and composer, Stenhammar died 90 years ago quite prematurely in his native city of Stockholm. He described his Second Symphony, composed in 1915, as “sober and honest
music without frills”. Here he turned aside from Bruckner and Wagner and found his way to a sublime and inimitable Nordic style based on the ecclesiastical modes. Fittingly, Blomstedt precedes it with the “Jupiter” Symphony, the keystone of Mozart’s symphonic output. It is at once the quintessence of the classical style and a clarion call for a departure into new worlds. Everything heads toward the exhilarating finale with its fugally interlocking themes. Here Blomstedt boldly builds an arch to the impressive double fugue with which Stenhammar brings his own symphony to its artful conclusion.