The Hallé – Sibelius’s Symphony No.1 at The Bridgewater Hall

The Hallé – Sibelius’s Symphony No.1
The Bridgewater Hall
20th March 2024

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Kristiina Poska conductor
Jess Gillam saxophone

Britten Peter Grimes: Four Sea Interludes
John Harle Briggflatts
Sibelius Symphony No.1

Estonian Kristiina Poska begins her second visit to the Hallé with Britten’s atmospheric Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes. Also returning is superstar saxophonist Jess Gillam, who’s been described by composer John Harle as a ‘young virtuoso with huge energy, a soaring sound, and an unforgettable presence.’ She plays his concerto Briggflatts, conceived for her artistry, the title referring to Basil Bunting’s poem steeped in Gilliam’s native Cumbria. Its finale, ‘RANT!’, is an exhilarating romp of toe-tapping Cumbrian folk-tunes guaranteed to bring the house down. As Poska has been called ‘One of the most distinctive and interesting Sibelius interpreters I’ve heard for some time’ (Gramophone), the prospect of her conducting the composer’s First Symphony is tantalising. Virile in spirit and imbued with melodic freshness, the work announced the arrival of one of the all-time great symphonists.

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