RNCM Symphony Orchestra
The Bridgewater Hall, 29 June 2017
Well, turns out there was a Russian theme to the season’s final concert.
We started with selections from Modest Mussorgsky’s Khovanshchina and followed it with a violin concerto by Prokofiev (the Violin Concerto No 1 in D major, in fact), which led up to Tchaikovsky’s final symphony, the so-called ‘Pathetique’, a harrowing, haunting masterpiece.
Not all of it is harrowing, to be honest, there are the glitzy fanfares and a xyst-trail of a waltz and even a few niggardly moments of joy. Yet their effect, or rather their dread consequence, is to foreground the dark encroaching sorrowful silhouettes, to cast them as stark winter branches raised against a cold titanium sky.
Yes, it is a harrowing, a troubling and mysterious work even now.