This Rush Hour concert is in honour of an all-too-rare thing: composers simply having fun.
Prokofiev wrote the Classical Symphony on a holiday in the country, with the aim of creating a Mozartian crowd-pleaser. He wrote that “the public will no doubt just be content to hear happy and uncomplicated music which it will, of course, applaud.” No pressure.
Sally Beamish’s Hover is more complex – a farewell to her Scottish home, it compares the subtle melancholy of a life left behind to the exhilaration and anticipation of a fresh start.
Mozart, in typical fashion, somehow produced three of the greatest contributions to classical music – his Symphonies No. 39, 40, and 41 – in the space of nine weeks. That works out at about five days per movement. The composer had every right to be confident, and that’s evident in this symphony as it strides along gleefully: fast but never rushed, stately but never bloated, self-assured but never arrogant. It’s a joy to experience.