In 1934, when he was composing his opera Lulu, Alban Berg was flirting with danger, adapting what the Nazis termed a ‘degenerate’ text by Frank Wedekind and composing in a modernist style. His music was later banned and, fearful that his new opera would never be performed, Berg adapted its material as the Lulu Suite, for soprano and orchestra. The fallout from the world premiere of this luxurious, jazz-infused score was immediate for both performers and reviewers alike.
Soprano Rebecca Nelsen joins Esa-Pekka Salonen for this rarely performed Berg masterpiece.
Symphony No. 9 was the last symphony completed by the Bohemian composer Gustav Mahler. Esa-Pekka Salonen knows the complexities of conducting this enigmatic work he likes to conduct. He describes the symphony as a profound statement, a problematic piece which he finds himself interpreting differently each time he comes back to it; ‘frustrating, but endlessly fascinating’.