The Bells

LighthousePoole, South-West, BH15 1UG, United Kingdom
On Wednesday 15 November 2017 at 19:30

Rachmaninov’s choral symphony The Bells is intensely dramatic, operating on several levels. The imitation of the sound of bells, in turn joyful and sad, becomes a backdrop for the expression of a wide range of emotions. In addition to the sound of the bells, another aural element plays an important role in the music. The intoxicating rhythm of the poetry, so irresistible in Edgar Allen Poe's original, was matched in the Russian translation by Konstantin Balmont and the music does full justice to Poe-Balmont's verbal fireworks.

Brahms’ overture opens with two emphatic chords. Unison strings, with timpani vibrating ominously, then intone the austere main theme – a simple march. A magnificent energy that presses through the outer portions of the work has a defiant strength whose force is heightened by the return of the poignant little march idea, defining the ‘Tragic’ of the overture even more potently. Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.3 came straight from the heart of its creator and was a showcase for his own amazing pianistic talents. Revolutionary in its scale, drama and intensity, it is a masterful partnership between soloist and orchestra.

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