Nielsen’s Fifth Symphony begins in an uncertain world – and then has to fight for its very life. But then, as Nielsen himself put it, “Music is life”; and this tough, shattering, ultimately unconquerable symphony might just be 20th century music’s supreme tribute to the power of the human spirit.
Given Thomas Dausgaard’s special empathy for Nielsen, it should make a compelling climax to a concert that begins with Nielsen’s radiant evocation of Greek myth, and traces his creative roots back to the classical proportions and intense emotional power of Mozart’s evergreen Clarinet Concerto – played here by a clarinettist whose every performance is an occasion, Martin Fröst.
Prelude: 6.45pm in the Recital Room
Nordic music expert Leah Broad of the University of Oxford introduces Carl Nielsen’s music.