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At the Water's Edge: Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich & Britten

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Southbank Centre: Royal Festival HallBelvedere Road, Londres, Greater London, SE1 8XX, Royaume-uni
Le jeudi 24 octobre 2019 at 19:30
Artistes
Philharmonia Orchestra
Elim ChanDirection
Sol GabettaVioloncelle

£58 (premium); £45; £36; £28; £19; £12

Music by Tchaikovsky and Britten inspired by two very different landscapes, and Sol Gabetta in Shostakovich’s fiery Cello Concerto No. 1.

Elim Chan first conducted the Philharmonia in 2017, on her meteoric rise to a busy international career. She returns at the request of audience members and musicians alike.

Tchaikovsky, on holiday in the Ukraine, worked the folk songs he heard there into his second symphony. The first movement grows out of the haunting melody of ‘Down by Mother Volga’, played first by a solo horn and bassoon, and the energetic finale is a set of variations on ‘The Crane’.

The moods of a very different landscape suffuse Britten’s Four Sea Interludes, extracts from his opera Peter Grimes. In this dark story set on the Suffolk coast, the sea is a constant, implacable presence, whether calm or stormy, at dawn or by moonlight. Britten and his partner Peter Pears, both conscientious objectors, lived in self-imposed exile in the United States from 1939, but it was partly writing this music, said Britten, that made him realise “in a flash… where I belonged”, and they returned to Suffolk in 1942.

At the heart of the programme is Shostakovich’s fiery Cello Concerto No. 1. Widely considered the height of achievement for a cellist, the piece gives the solo horn, and indeed every member of the orchestra, the chance to shine too. Charismatic cellist Sol Gabetta follows in illustrious footsteps – Shostakovich wrote the concerto in 1959 for his young friend, and erstwhile orchestration student, Mstislav Rostropovich.

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