sat 20/10/2018

BBC Symphony Orchestra, Sir Andrew Davis, Barbican | reviews, news & interviews

BBC Symphony Orchestra, Sir Andrew Davis, Barbican

BBC Symphony Orchestra, Sir Andrew Davis, Barbican

Elgar's Shakespearean humanity and Delius's nature dwarf a new commission

Sir Andrew Davis: Equally at home with Elgar's character sketch and Delius's mood musicJim Four

Elgar and Delius are two geniuses who only ever composed themselves - the first drawing heavily on psychology and physiognomy, the second drenching his country visions in painful nostalgia. So it made good sense to have man and nature side by side in Sir Andrew Davis's latest enterprising concert. Oh, and there was a commission from the Royal Philharmonic Society's Elgar Bursary too, though this was only "new" music by the old guard. I suspect that the BBC Symphony players could have done without Edwin Roxburgh's Concerto for Orchestra in a heavy programme, resplendently though they tackled it, and so could I.

Enter - hurrah! - Sir John Falstaff to make us laugh and cry, a disconsolate portrait of that most faithful Shakespearean-in-music Sir Edward Elgar

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