Simon Rattle begins his Roots and Origins series at the beginning of the 2018-19 season with a rare combination of three distinctive works, all steeped in history and folk tradition. The concert begins with Dvorak’s Slavonic Dances and Janacek’s Sinfonietta.
The London Symphony Chorus (with the children of the Tiffin Choirs) will then join forces with the LSO on the Barbican platform for a performance of Britten’s Spring Symphony, featuring Elizabeth Watts (soprano), Alice Coote (mezzo-soprano) and Alan Clayton (tenor).
Spring Symphony (Britten’s Opus 44) was premiered at the Concertgebouw on 14th July 1949 as part of the Holland Festival. In this choral symphony, Britten sets the words of several poets, chiefly from the 16th and 17th century, such as Edmund Spenser, John Clare and George Peele. A notable exception is “Out on the lawn I lie in bed” by his friend W.H. Auden.
Britten himself said the work represents “the progress of Winter to Spring and the re-awakening of the earth and life which that means”.