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10.06.2021 20:00 (CEST)

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Sheku Kanneh-Mason & Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla celebrate the centenary of the CBSO’s first symphonic concert

Last November, in lockdown conditions, the CBSO and its Music Director Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla recorded this special programme to mark the centenary of the orchestra’s very first symphonic concert in November 1910, an event conducted by none other than Sir Edward Elgar himself. The centrepiece on both occasions was Elgar’s Cello Concerto, here performed by star soloist Sheku Kanneh-Mason with all the eloquence and emotional intensity required by the score. The concerto is framed by movements from Sibelius’s Lemminkäinen Suite, inspired by the tales of the Finnish folk epic, the Kalevala. Although the hero Lemminkäinen meets his death in the dark-toned Swan of Tuonela, he is restored to life and makes his way home in the joyful finale, here acting as an appropriately uplifting curtain-raiser. The concert ends with a 250th-anniversary tribute to Beethoven, the Leonore Overture No.3, which dramatically distils the story of his opera Fidelio and its heroine Leonore’s journey from fear and despair to celebration and joy.

Jean Sibelius
Lemminkäinen’s Return, op.22 no.4
Edward Elgar
Cello Concerto in E minor, op.85
Jean Sibelius
The Swan of Tuonela, op.22 no.2
Ludwig van Beethoven
Leonore Overture No.3, op.72b

Sheku Kanneh-Mason cello
Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla conductor
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra


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