Hear John Wilson conduct Elgar’s visionary final symphony, alongside Korngold’s Violin Concerto with Leonidas Kavakos.
Left unfinished at the time of his death, Elgar’s Third Symphony ranks among the greatest pieces of British music ever written. The sweeping music traces a journey from an opening march through to a wistful dance in its second movement, on to an evocative adagio of searing intensity. Elgar’s masterful writing speaks directly to the listener: his symphony builds to an emotional climax in the final movement, before fading away to nothing. The symphony was completed by Anthony Payne, and first performed in 1998.
Where Elgar’s music formed Britain’s musical heart, Korngold’s bridges two worlds: trained in the European tradition, he found his home in Hollywood. Virtuosic and playful, but sincere and heartfelt, his Violin Concerto is magic made into music. Performed tonight by Leonidas Kavakos – “superbly articulate and incisive, yet rapturously lyrical” (The Guardian) – the piece moves through jigs, romances and adventure, all with ravishing melodies taken from Korngold’s own film scores.