Tchaikovsky’s grandest symphony is the climax of an evening of stormy Romanticism with conductor Alondra de la Parra.
Tchaikovsky himself said that his Fifth Symphony represented ‘a complete resignation before Fate’, and an early critic recognised that ‘the whole symphony seems to spring from some dark spiritual experience’, but that hasn’t stopped it becoming a firm audience favourite. It opens with the sound of funereal footsteps on the clarinet. A singing horn melody gives the second movement a more hopeful mood, but the fateful ‘footsteps’ theme returns in the third movement waltz and triumphs in the stormy finale.
But first, violinist Viktoria Mullova performs Sibelius’s Violin Concerto. It casts its spell with soulful melody, rhythmic power and flights of virtuosity.