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At The Ballet

St John’s Smith Square
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21 Jan 2020


7:30 pm - 12:00 am

Mozart and Sibelius

Freya Waley-Cohen Changeling (UK premiere)
Mozart Piano Concerto No. 23
Sibelius Symphony No. 3

Oliver Zeffman conductor
George Li piano

‘After hearing my Third Symphony Rimsky-Korsakov shook his head and said, “Why don’t you do it the usual way?” And now I am certain that my symphonies are played more than his.’

So wrote Sibelius is 1940, 33 years after his Third Symphony premiered to a bemused audience hungry for more over the top Romanticism. Now we know it for what it is – the first ‘Sibelian’ symphony, with the subtlety and melodic development that became his trademark.

It’s paired here with Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23, a remarkable piece which contemporary audiences were barely given the chance to hear, as he claimed to keep it as one of the ‘compositions which I keep for myself or for a small circle of music-lovers and connoisseurs.