Composed in 1970-71 when its composer was still in his teens, Knussen’s Symphony No.2 may only clock in at 17 minutes, but its brevity belies the enormous emotional world it creates. In the symphony, a high soprano joins the chamber orchestra for a pale, moonlit journey of a dreaming sleeper, setting words by Sylvia Plath alongside Georg Trakl (whose words Knussen also set in his Rosary Songs and Trumpets). Filled with shimmering, spectral textures, this is an uneasy piece which combines an eerie, glacial brilliance with a burning expressionist intensity.

‘Every note in this intricate work is fatidiously placed.’
The Independent (Michael Church), 31 July 2012