The British are mad about riddles and mysteries. Even in the Middle Ages, riddle poems were eagerly consumed and deciphered in the British Isles. Shakespeare’s sonnets are peppered with secret messages and hidden meanings. Many a mystery novel and psychological thriller was penned by a Brit. Now the orchestra ventures down a slippery slope of British brain-teasers.
Ryan Wigglesworth, one of the leading British musicians of his generation, leads the orchestra in an all-British programme also featuring his own music. Knussen’s Horn Concerto, he believes, fits perfectly with Elgar’s Enigma Variations: ‘Both Knussen and Elgar build their music out of secret musical codes and ciphers, although the key to Elgar’s “enigma” may never be discovered. Both compositions contain numerous secrets and shadows.’ Crime novelist Sophie Hannah will be shedding light on the theme in the curtain-raiser.