The Full Works Concert - Friday 27 December 2013

Tonight, Catherine Bott presents an exclusive concert from the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Classic FM's Orchestra in the South-West of England.

Earlier this autumn, Classic FM announced a major new partnership with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, who are now Classic FM’s Orchestra in the South-West of England.  

Tonight, Catherine Bott hosts the Full Works Concert and gives you a chance to hear an exclusively-recorded BSO concert which took place at the Bournemouth Pavilion on 26 October.

The concert, titled ‘Melodic Magic’, sees Maxime Tortelier conduct the BSO in the Karelia Suite by Sibelius, the Fourth Symphony by Tchaikovsky, and the Mozart Clarinet Concerto with soloist Timothy Orpen.

In 1893 Sibelius wrote several works for a patriotic historical pageant by students of the University of Helsinki in Viipuri, Karelia. The composer subsequently compiled the suite of three pieces from the pageant's incidental music. He held the Karelia province in particular affection. In earlier years he had been inspired by its folk music, and later he was to spend his honeymoon there.

Completed in 1791, the year of the composer's death, Mozart 's Clarinet Concerto marked his farewell to instrumental music. It was also the first clarinet concerto to be written by a major composer – except that Mozart did not write it for the clarinet at all! It was intended for the basset clarinet, an instrument that has four semitones added to its lower range.

Tchaikovsky wrote his Fourth Symphony, the Symphony No. 4 in F minor between 1877 and 1878, dedicated to his patroness and 'best friend' Nadezhda von Meck. Following his catastrophic marriage to a former student lasting a mere two months, Tchaikovsky made a start on his fourth symphony. After emerging from a profound period of writer's block, struggling with his sexuality and battling with a heavy bout of depression, it's perhaps unsurprising that the music is urgent, supercharged and violent at points. Even the opening bars of the first movement are intended to represent a metaphor for Fate, or, as poor old Tchaikovsky put it: "the fatal power which prevents one from attaining the goal of happiness". Between the moments of anguish and melancholy, Tchaikovsky proves he knows how to write a great tune - even the plaintive oboe melody at the beginning of the second movement swells with a poignancy and optimism, helped along by lush strings and booming brass. The Finale, complete with frenzied plucking from the strings and rushing scales bursting through the texture, is certainly a highlight. The doom-laden Fate theme comes back once more - a cyclical feature Tchaikovsky went on to use in the two symphonies that followed: Manfred and Symphony No. 5, completed in 1885 and 1888 respectively.

Sibelius: Karelia Suite 

Mozart: Clarinet Concerto 
Clarinet: Timothy Orpen  

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No.4 

Maxime Tortelier conducts the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra