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Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Jessica Cottis conductor
David Thomas basset clarinet


Mendelssohn The Hebrides
Mozart Clarinet Concerto
Sibelius Symphony No.2

About the performance

Internationally in-demand and highly celebrated Australian conductor Jessica Cottis makes her MSO debut with this varied and lyrical program inspired by nature and place.

  • Awestruck by the towering columns of rock and the rushing water at Fingal’s Cave on a visit to Scotland’s Hebrides islands, Mendelssohn wrote his evocative overture depicting the monumental beauty and forces of nature he encountered.
  • Ever the pioneer, Mozart wrote his Clarinet Concerto for basset clarinet – an instrument with a wider range than the existing clarinet enabling greater dramatic and musical variation. The only problem was that the instrument didn’t yet exist, and was only finished just in time for the work’s premiere! Hear this beloved concerto through new ears as MSO Principal Clarinet David Thomas performs on this rare and extraordinary instrument.
  • When Sibelius’s Second Symphony was first performed in 1902, Finland was under oppression from Russia, and the work was immediately received (and later appropriated) as a symbol of national liberation. Sibelius denied the work’s nationalistic connotations, but critics and scholars have debated this ever since, arguing that the work represents the Finnish landscape, heartbroken injustice and the hard labour of its citizens, finishing with a hopeful conclusion pointing towards a brighter future.

Duration: approx. 2 hours including interval

Listen to Mozart's Clarinet Concerto now

2023 regional tour funders

MSO’s regional touring program is supported by Creative Victoria, Freemasons Foundation Victoria, and the Robert Salzer Foundation.

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