A tour de force of lushly-scored romanticism and virtuosity, Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto was written in 1909, to perform on his first visit to the USA. Contrasting a restless, melancholic theme redolent of traditional Russian music with a more warmly rapturous second subject, its Allegro ma non tanto builds to a dramatic cadenza before concluding on a dark whisper. The central Intermezzo equally balances melancholy with romance, before a glittering Finale. Berlioz’s revolutionary Symphonie Fantastique of 1830 ditched the usual symphonic four movements of ‘pure’ music for five programmatic ones full of theatrical special effects, depicting a lovesick artist’s opium-fuelled dreams about the lady indifferent to his desire. She is represented throughout by a single recurring, constantly reimagined theme intoned first by smooth violins, and ultimately parodied in the climactic Witches Sabbath – following the artist’s execution for her murder – as church bells toll the Dies irae.