A ripped photo of Jess Gillam playing sax next to vintage sepia photo of a woman
Classical Music

Jess Gillam and Symphony of Sorrowful Songs

Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra 2024/25 Season
Sun 13 Oct 2024, 14:45
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Sibelius Finlandia Op. 26
Glazunov Concerto for Saxophone Op. 109
Górecki Symphony No. 3, Op. 36 Symphony of Sorrowful Songs

Alpesh Chauhan conductor
Jess Gillam saxophone
Ruby Hughes soprano

The heroism of Finland, a star of the saxophone and the chart-topping Symphony of Sorrowful Songs are brought together in a concert of passion and hope.

A profound unfolding of stillness and rebirth, Henryk Górecki’s third symphony – Symphony of Sorrowful Songs – not only topped the classical charts but cracked the British pop charts in 1992, selling over a million copies and rocketing the Polish composer into global fame. Its fascination has not waned over the last thirty years, with multiple recordings and stagings; the Mahlerian beauty and meditation on motherhood, love and loss still speaks to a huge audience.

'Perhaps people find something they need in this music… something, somewhere had been lost to them,’ the composer wrote; ‘I instinctively knew what they needed.’ 

We’re thrilled to welcome back the soprano Ruby Hughes, whose captivating communication with audiences has led to a vibrant international career.

Before that, superstar saxophonist Jess Gillam shows the soulful side of her instrument in Glazunov’s dark-hued concerto, full of melodic twists and turns. Hailing from Cumbria, twenty-six year-old Jess is blazing a trail as the first-ever saxophonist signed to Decca Classics, with both her albums reaching no.1 in the classical charts. She's also the host of her own award-winning show, This Classical Life. 

We open with Sibelius’ blazing hymn to freedom, the mighty tone poem Finlandia.

‘Jess Gillam is not just one of Britain’s most virtuosic instrumentalists, but also an unstuffy, inspiring personality.’ – The Times

‘Ruby Hughes’ pure tone and sensitivity shine out, her voice at times almost ethereal.’ – The Observer

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