Two young French musicians make their Hallé debuts. An alumna of the RNCM, conductor Chloé van Soeterstède, is rapidly building an international profile, whilst Gramophone magazine describes cellist Bruno Philippe as having a ‘command of the instrument that can scarcely be gainsaid – his tone is simply glorious.’

Elegance is a hallmark of their compatriots Chabrier and Saint-Saëns: the former’s Suite Pastorale is wholly charming; whereas Saint-Saëns’ First Cello Concerto has an abundance of lyricism. Having emigrated to the West in 1917, Rachmaninov longed for his homeland, Russia. His memories haunt his final orchestral masterpiece, the Symphonic Dances, which, dappled in autumnal hues with saxophone prominent, quotes Orthodox ecclesiastical chants and, most poignantly, the opening theme of his First Symphony, forgotten since its disastrous premiere.