The opening five bars of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony – perhaps the best known musical motif ever written – are startlingly direct and provide the impetus for the unrelenting forward motion of the whole symphony. The symphony further distanced Beethoven from the traditions of the Classical period and firmly positioned him at the forefront of the transition to Romanticism. Its prominent use of trombones, piccolo and contrabassoon heralded significant advances in orchestration and is arguably one of the most influential pieces in the history of music. This follows his Eighth Symphony - a work often disparagingly known as the “Little” Symphony - a light piece with a strain of humour apparent throughout. Formally, it is one of the composer’s most curious arrangements but it is a highly entertaining work, mischievous at times, exhibiting a brighter side of the composer’s personality. Steven Stucky’s Radical Light completes the programme: a broad, imaginative piece that has been compared to the texture and mood of works by Sibelius.