Tapiola, Symphonic Poem op. 112
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, 'À la mémoire d’un ange' (To the Memory of an Angel)
Symphony No 4 op. 29, 'Det Uudslukkelige' (The Inextinguishable)
This fascinating programme represents the first three decades of the 20th century with three major works composed within ten years of each other.
1916 saw the première of Carl Nielsen's Symphony No. 4, known as ̍ 'The Inextinguishable' (Det Uudslukkelige in Danish). Its grandiose orchestration is unparalleled in Scandinavian music, but its message transcends borders. For Nielsen, only music can give abstract expression to the life force. "Music is life and like life, inextinguishable."
1926 was the year of the creation of Tapiola, a vast symphonic poem by Jean Sibelius, often considered his masterpiece. Through the Kalevala, the great Finnish epic that Sibelius set to music throughout his life, this immense composer has left us one of the strangest and most powerful works in all of Western music.
1936, the première of Alban Berg's Concerto ̍ 'To the Memory of an Angel'. The angel was an 18-year-old girl who died during the composition of this work, which takes on the appearance of a twelve-tone requiem, also quoting a chorale by Bach. Berg died of septicaemia following a wasp sting and never heard his work, which remains one of his greatest inspirations.