This concert marks Sir Mark Elder’s farewell to the Hallé Orchestra, drawing his tenure as music director to a close after 24 remarkable years. And what a way to bow out, with two commanding works from the era in which he has attracted his greatest acclaim.

Lili Boulanger’s setting of Psalm 130 stands testament to the youthful French composer’s prodigious talent. Had she not died at 24, this choral piece, with its vivid personality and darkness of atmosphere, suggests that she could have grown into a towering figure of 20th-century music.

Gustav Mahler once wrote, ‘A symphony must be like the world. It must contain everything.’ His mighty Fifth Symphony does exactly that. The Adagietto alone is probably Mahler’s most powerful hit; its evocation of awakening love is frequently performed as a standalone piece. From the imposing funeral march and the storm, it unleashes to its conclusion in a blaze of triumph, the symphony traces an awe-inspiring path from darkness to light.

 

Public booking opens 21 March, 12 noon