The Finnish conductor Klaus Mäkelä makes his Concertgebouworkest debut with the First Symphony by his fellow countryman Jean Sibelius, and exciting work by Peruvian Jimmy López.
Jean Sibelius was an original and innovative composer, yet his music attests to the fact that he always had one foot in the nineteenth century. The result is a mix of surprises and firm grounding. Sibelius’s symphonies are also imbued with a totally unique atmosphere you won’t find in the works of any other composer, partly because of their Finnish perspective. The First Symphony is an early demonstration of his originality: who else would have thought to start a symphony with a lonely duet between clarinet and timpani?
Jimmy López was born in Peru, but sees himself as a cosmopolitan composer. In recent years he has garnered many successes with his colourful music, in which an array of styles are brought together in a solid compositional framework. In 2016 his Symphony No. 1 proved that he is a master of large symphonic forms. Its four parts correspond to the four books of Cervantes’ novel The Travails of Persiles and Sigismunda, published shortly before the author’s death in 1616, repetitive patterns in percussion and brass lead to a grand finale.