Britten Quatre Chansons Françaises* (c.15′)
Britten Gloriana: Symphonic Suite (c.26′)
Mahler Symphony No.4* (c.57′)
Elizabeth Watts Soprano*
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
When the young Benjamin Britten first heard Mahler’s Fourth Symphony, a new musical world stood open before him. “Wonderfully resonant”, he declared it – and he was far from the first listener to be seduced by Mahler’s fantastic musical journey from playful mock-Mozart to a deceptively worldly heaven. Still, some might say that Britten was halfway there already; certainly it’s hard to believe that his sensuous Quatre Chansons Françaises is the work of a teenager. Elizabeth Watts supplies both innocence and experience, while MartynBrabbins conducts the suite from Britten’s Coronation-year opera Gloriana; OldeEnglande reimagined with positively Mahlerian irony.
Prelude: 6.45pm in the Recital Room
On the eve of Britten’s 100th birthday, Martyn Brabbins gives a conductor’s view of the composer.
Post-Concert Coda (approximately 10 minutes after the main concert)
Members of the BBC SSO, conducted by MartynBrabbins, play Britten’s arrangement of Mahler’s What the Wild Flowers Tell Me (Minuet from Symphony No.3).