Inside Classical “Life, Love and Tchaikovsky” 19 June 2022: Episode 2 on BBC Four

Storyville "On the Morning You Wake (to the End of the World)" 5 July 2022: Tuesday on BBC Four 11

The BBC National Orchestra of Wales performs from its home at Hoddinott Concert Hall in the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff, under the baton of one of the world’s most exciting young conductors, Marta Gardolinska.

The concert fittingly opens with the Overture by Polish composer Grazyna Bacewicz. Bacewicz was a trailblazer in early 20th-century music, a celebrated female composer who wrote this work in 1943 when her country was under Nazi occupation. The sense of struggle and combat is heard within the piece with the opening rumble of the timpani, the beat of the snare drum and the brass section playing fanfares. The work also contains a musical message of hope, with the Morse code for ‘V’ (dot dot dot dash), beaten out on the timpani during the piece, symbolising victory.

Following Bacewicz’s Overture, the orchestra welcomes BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist Johan Dalene to perform Felix Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor. Swedish-born Johan, who is 20 years old, began playing the violin when he was four and made his concerto debut three years later. Mendelssohn wrote the Violin Concerto in E minor for his friend Ferdinand David, and the piece has become treasured by soloists and audiences worldwide for its lyrical melodies, fine craftsmanship and charm.

The concert ends with the orchestra performing Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony in F minor. Tchaikovsky made a start to his work on the symphony following his catastrophic marriage, which lasted just two months, to his former student Antonina Miliukova. 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, at points, violent.

Presented by Georgia Mann.

About Inside Classical

Series in which the BBC orchestras and their specially invited guests perform concerts in some of the UK’s most prestigious concert halls.

This show is broadcast on BBC Four, also known as the British Broadcasting Corporation.

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