BBC Symphony Orchestra/Sakari Oramo ***
Barbican, 16th January 2015
My introduction to Carl Nielsen was an interval feature on a television Proms broadcast, presented by comedian Alexei Sayle. It opened with photographs featuring the young Nielsen pulling grotesque gargoyle-like faces, the 19th century equivalent of squeezing into a photo booth and adopting daft poses for each of your shots. Accompanying these images were the stabbing As which energetically crank his “Espansiva” Symphony into action. Those photographs came to mind as the BBC Symphony Orchestra punched out the chords last night. Nielsen’s lively, genial nature permeated the whole performance. Sakari Oramo smiled broadly. The music smiled back.
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