Powerhouse conductor Valery Gergiev, the Edinburgh International Festival’s Honorary President, brings the London Symphony Orchestra to the festival for what promises to be a fascinating four-concert residency.
Brahms’s Second is the sunniest of the composer’s four symphonies, its cheerful, pastoral mood drawing comparisons with Beethoven’s well-loved ‘Pastoral’ Symphony. The piece’s tender melodies and genial intimacy are only clouded by the briefest of storms in the brooding slow movement, revealing the steely strength behind the naive charm that Brahms evokes in the work.
Szymanowski’s dramatic Second Symphony, on the other hand, is a grand statement that shows the impact of Mahler and Richard Strauss, while also drawing on the lush impressionism of Debussy. Sensuous and passionate, and scored for a huge orchestra, it has gorgeous melodies, brilliant colours and a magnificent conclusion.
London Symphony Orchestra
Valery Gergiev Conductor
Brahms Tragic Overture
Szymanowski Symphony No 2
Brahms Symphony No 2