Franz Schubert's 'Great' Symphony, his Ninth, was far ahead of its time: the work was premiered in 1839 in a highly abridged version because orchestras in Leipzig, Vienna, Paris and London simply refused to perform the symphony in its entirety. It would take another half-century before musicians and listeners would grow accustomed to Schubert's great work and all the technical challenges it poses. Initially, the nickname 'Great' was primarily intended to distinguish it from the shorter Sixth Symphony in the same key, but nowadays it reflects the grandeur of Schubert's beloved Ninth Symphony.
This concert is being led by the German guest conductor Thomas Hengelbrock, who has been regularly invited to return since his first appearance with the orchestra in the autumn of 2014. Before the interval, soloist Kersten McCall will be taking on the solo part in the Finnish composer Lotta Wennäkoski's flute concerto Soie ('Silk').