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Dvořák Symphonic Variations

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City Halls: Concert HallCandleriggs, Glasgow, Scotland, G1 1NQ, United Kingdom
On Thursday 21 November 2019 at 19:30

Sadly, Martyn Brabbins is unwell and unable to conduct the BBC SSO this week. However, we are delighted that John Wilson, the orchestra’s former Associate Guest Conductor, has agreed to step in at very short notice to conduct in Glasgow and Ayr.

As a result, Dvořák’s Serenade for wind instruments will now replace Pictured Within which was due to receive its Scottish Premiere in Glasgow. John Wilson will conduct the Dvořák Symphonic Variations, Britten Serenade and Brahms Haydn Variations as advertised, but the Dvořák Serenade will be conducted by Royal Conservatoire Conducting Fellow, Sergej Bolkhovets.

Variations are simple. A composer takes a favourite tune (or makes one up) and then lets their imagination get to work. With each repetition, the tune evolves and transforms, until we’re listening to something completely new - and that’s where the magic happens. Here, conductor Martyn Brabbins offers three different spins on that one deceptively straightforward trick. Brahms’s chosen tune wasn’t really by Haydn at all, but he didn’t know that, and filled his ‘Haydn Variations’ with all the wit and fantasy of his favourite classical master. His friend Dvořák invented his own melody, and let it grow into a masterpiece as characterful as any of his symphonies. As a contrast, young British tenor Stuart Jackson and BBC SSO principal horn Alberto Menéndez Escribano dive deep into Britten’s Serenade – great poetry meets incandescent music, united by an unspoken theme of its own: the timeless magic of night.

John Wilson © Sim Canetty-Clarke
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