Friday, 8 November 2013

BBC Symphony Orchestra season at the Barbican

BBC Symphony Orchestra and Jiří Bělohlávek at the Barbican (c) BBC / Lara Platman
BBC Symphony Orchestra and Jiří Bělohlávek
at the Barbican (c) BBC / Lara Platman
Having launched the new BBC Symphony Orchestra season last week, with their first concert with their new chief conductor Sakari Oramo, the orchestra continues in exciting mode with Britten's War Requiem at the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday with Semyon Bychkov conducting and soloists Marina Polavskaya, Andrew Kennedy and Roderick Williams (10/11). There is more Britten in 23 November at the Barbican when Steuart Bedford conducts a stellar cast led by Christine Brewer with Andrew Staples in the title role (23/11)

Francois-Xavier Roth conducts the orchestra and the BBC Symphony Chorus in Berlioz's L'enfance du Christ with soloists Karen Cargill, Yann Beuron, Marcus Farnsworth and Christopher Purves (15/12, Barbican). And Christine Brewer returns to join the orchestra in Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder and Berg's Seven Early Songs conducted by Edward Gardner (20/12, Barbican).

The new year sees Semyon Bychkov returning to conduct Shostakovich's huge Symphony No. 7, Leningrad paired with another work from the Second World War, Martinu's Concerto for Two Pianos played by Katya and Marielle Labeque. (16/1/2014).

The first Total Immersion on 2014 sees a day of events devoted to Thea Musgrave, with choral music from the BBC Singers under Paul Brough (including her riveting Rorate Coeli) and orchestra music from the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Martyn Brabbins (15/2) The second Total Immersion is devoted to the prolific South American composer Villa Lobos. Again the BBC Singers, under Celso Antunes, give us choral music including the wonder Bachiana Brasileira No. 9  (which is rarely heard in its tricky choral version), then Sakari Oramo conducts the BBC Symphony Orchestr in an evening exploration of Villa Lobos's orchestral music including two of the Choros (nos. 8 and 10) and two more Bachianas Brasileiras (Nos 4 and 5) (8/3)

Sir Andrew Davis conducts the BBC Symphony Orchestra and BBC Symphony Chorus in two of Elgar's greatest oratorios. The Dream of Gerontius with a dream cast which includes Sarah Connolly, Stuart Skelton and Brindley Sherratt (6/4), then The Apostles with a strong cast including Nicole Cabell, Sarah Connolly, Paul Groves, Brindley Sherratt, Gerald Finley and Jacques Imbrailo (12/4).

There is more opera to conclude the season. Martyn Brabbins conducts Sir Harrison Birtwistle's Gawain with Leigh Melrose as Gawain and Sir John Tomlinson reprising the role of the Green Knight. Essential listening for any opera lover (16/5). Then in complete contrast, Ludovic Morlot conducts Poulenc's Les Mamelles de Tiresias (24/5)

Elsewhere on this blog:

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