Guest conductor Ryan Bancroft leads a programmatic tour de force that explores the complexities of the human experience. Opening with Anna Clyne’s Within Her Arms, the lamenting elegy for 15 strings was inspired by the composer’s loss of her mother. Then, the demanding Piano Concerto No. 3 of Sergei Prokofiev is a testament to his technical prowess as both a performer and a composer, as brilliantly displayed by British pianist Isata Kanneh- Mason, winner of the 2021 Leonard Bernstein Award. Full of orchestral colour amid manic passages of virtuosity contrasted by moments of serene, lyrical melodies, the concerto is one of the most popular of the 20th century. Finally, Russian compatriot Dmitri Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony, written shortly after the death of Joseph Stalin, is a scathing musical indictment of the terror and violence experienced under Stalin’s regime. Sombre, wrenching emotion dominates most of the piece, until, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, it closes with a triumphant climax.
Within Her Arms
Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Major, Op. 26
Symphony No. 10 in E Minor, Op. 93