After Dvorák’s Scherzo capriccioso, redolent with captivating Bohemian melodies and rhythms, Sir Mark is joined, as he was twenty-four years ago in his first season as the Hallé’s Music Director, by Sir Stephen Hough, that undisputed ‘keyboard colossus’ (The Guardian).

Here, they collaborate on the European premiere of Sir Stephen’s Piano Concerto, which he describes as having ‘a large splash of romantic bravura … Think a cocktail of Korngold, Ginistera, Walton, Barber – but none of them exact.’ Acknowledging a core Hallé tradition, English music, both new and old, has been a key strand of Sir Mark’s programming as the second half bears witness. Butterworth’s orchestral rhapsody A Shropshire Lad is his heartfelt postlude to his songs setting A.E. Housman’s poems and Elgar’s Enigma Variations, his masterly vignettes of his ‘friends pictured within’, a work that encapsulates Sir Mark’s magnificent legacy with the Hallé.