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RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra Season 18/19

Saariaho, Mahler

Friday 8th March 2019

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RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra
Ilan Volkov conductor
Kari Kriikku clarinet

Saariaho  D’om le vrai sens / 35’
Mahler  Symphony No. 7 / 77’
Soundings: Free pre-concert talk at 6.30pm. Artist(s) in conversation.

Senses at the ready for an astonishing modern marvel of a clarinet concerto and a rhapsodic Song of the Night from a symphonic master.

Hearing, sight, smell, touch, taste… they’re all part of D’om le vrai sens (‘Man’s true sense’) by Kaija Saariaho, a composer ‘not only of startling strangeness and originality, but also of haunting, other worldly beauty’ (Rough Guide to Classical Music).

A clarinet concerto composed for our guest soloist Kari Kriikku – ‘a physically flamboyant player of Olympian virtuosity’ (New York Times) – it promises a sensory experience like you’ve never had. Oh, and don’t be alarmed if Kari is suddenly standing next to you in the middle of it all, he’s meant to be! One thing is for sure: you’ll never listen to the clarinet again the same way!

In a list of magnificent but neglected symphonies, Mahler’s Seventh would rate pretty high. Banish all thoughts of mean, moody self-obsession. This is Mahler as you’ve never heard him before. Well, almost. It does, after all, start with a funeral march. But it ends in a glorious sunburst of colour and warmth and on the way it’s as playful, poetic and passionate as you could hope for.

Presented by RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra