Sir Mark Elder conductor
Britten Sinfonia da Requiem, Op 20 Bax In memoriam Sibelius Symphony No 7 in C, Op 105
Sir Mark Elder, Music Director of the Hallé and Barbirolli Chair of Conducting at the Academy, returns to conduct a 20th-century programme beginning with Britten’s Sinfonia da Requiem. Written when Britten was just 26 years old, the work was commissioned – and subsequently rejected – by the Japanese government for the 2,600th anniversary of the Japanese Empire.
Bax’s In memoriam is dedicated to Irish political activist and revolutionary Patrick Pearse, who was executed along with other leaders of the Dublin Easter Rising of 1916. Written in 1917, but not performed until 1998, the work is one of Bax’s many pieces on an Irish theme.
The concert finishes with Sibelius’s single-movement Seventh Symphony. Receiving its premiere under the title ‘Fantasia sinfonica’ in 1924, it is the last of his published symphonies, despite being written over 30 years before his death.