Sir Stephen Hough piano
Sir Mark Elder
Brahms’ titanic concerto took many forms, first a sonata for piano duet, then a symphony, before becoming a concerto. Its stormy opening section is followed by a rich slow movement of quiet beauty. The finale is a defiant rondo of great energy which eventually turns to the major mode for a triumphant close.
George Butterworth’s gentle and reflective orchestral piece is imbued with the spirit of English folk song and the countryside.
Elgar’s famous variations are fond musical descriptions of close friends, varying from the serious ‘Nimrod’ (his publisher) to the romantic and delicate C.A.E. (his wife), concluding with an energetic and confident self-portrait.