Friday 28 January

Elena Schwarz conducts Rachmaninov, Nielsen, Sibelius

RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra

Time 6:00pm
National Concert Hall Dublin

Tickets: €25 more info

  • Elena Schwarz
  • Adam Walker
  • Rachmaninov

    Cinq Études-Tableaux orch. Respighi

  • Nielsen

    Flute Concerto

  • Sibelius

    Symphony No. 5

In the depth of winter, an evening of music from the far North and East with a hint of Italian warmth as primal exaltations to Christian and pagan deities blend with welcome atmospheres of colour, light and fantasy.

Joining the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra are two exciting young musicians: Elena Schwarz, a ‘conducting tour de force’ (Opera Today), and the ‘stunning talent’ (The Guardian) of flautist, Adam Walker.

Respighi’s ripe orchestration of Rachmaninov’s contrasting Cinq Études-Tableaux for piano adds a splash of Mediterranean heat to the Russian’s ‘study-pictures’, unleashing the rich imagery of their depictions of seagulls aloft a mighty ocean, a scene at a country fair, a sombre, stately funeral march, Little Red Riding Hood’s encounter with a ravenous wolf, and an oriental march.

Nielsen’s Flute Concerto brilliantly exploits the instrument’s song-like voice and its virtuosic ability to invoke pastoral bliss in an often light and airy, just as often playfully combative dialogue with the orchestra and the interjections of a particularly exercised trombone.

A 50th birthday commission from the Finnish government, Sibelius’s Fifth Symphony is heroic, mysterious and mythic. Opening and closing with invocations of the supernatural – ‘God opening His door for a moment’ and ‘Thor swinging his hammer’ – it triumphantly overcomes seemingly ceaseless struggle in one of the early 20th-century’s most bravura and stirring symphonies.