Dvořák gives free rein to his inventiveness in his Symphonic Variations, taking a simple tune for a walk through twenty-eight contrasting moods from mysterious melancholy to folksy elation, ending in a cheeky Czech polka. This is one of the most purely enjoyable works you’ll ever hear, abounding in charm and surprise.
Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto, a staple of the bravura repertoire, is a dazzling display piece for Principal Trumpet David Elton. Haydn was writing for a new kind of instrument with an expanded range and he uses it to thrilling effect, as the trumpet nimbly leaps around the orchestra with Classical grace.
Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony pivots between defiance and despair, unspeakable tragedy and rebellious celebration. Australian-born conductor Alexander Briger reveals the contradictions, the irony, and the sadness that colours Shostakovich’s masterpiece.