Wednesday, 30 April 2014

May on the South Bank

The Orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
The Orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
May on the South Bank includes Dallapiccola's Il prigioniero, and Verdi's Requiem from some Italian visitors, the Philharmonia visit Bohemia, whilst the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment time travel between the 18th century and today. The RFH organ continues to shine, and there is a chance to hear distinguished American mezzo-soprano Susan Graham in Berlioz. And for those with families, there is a new piece based on Roald Dahl, plus a chance to try instruments out for yourself.

The Philharmonia starts things off with a bang, with Vladimir Ashkenazy conducting them in Prokofiev's Scythian Suite and his music from the film Ivan the Terrible (1/5). The orchestra then moves forward in time for their Music of Today in which Celso Antunes conducts a programme of music by the Canadian composer Paul Harman (born 1970), including one premiere and two UK premieres. The concert will be introduced by Unsuk Chin and we are promised music in which nothing is quite as it seems (8/5). The orchestra then go off to Bohemia, as they are performing the Asrael Symphony by Josef Suk. Suk is best known as Dvorak's son-in-law but deserves better recognition in his own right (15/5). A second Music of Today consort has Clark Rundell conducting his own music (31/5).

Simon Rattle conducts the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in Haydn's Creation, sung in English with soloists Susan Gritton, John Mark Ainsley and Peter Rose (6/5), the orchestra is also running a study day on the work (11/5). In complete contrast the orchestra is directed by violinist Matthew Truscott in an exciting programme which mixes music by Corelli, Bach, Vivialdi and Handel with Sally Beamish's Spinal Chords which tells the story of a struggle to overcome disability (11/5).

Antonio Pappano and the Orchestra and Chorus of Accademia di Santa Cecilia make a welcome visit to the South Bank with two programmes. One pairs act two of Beethoven's Fidelio with Dallapiccola's Il prigioniero and the final two movements of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, with soloists Anita Watson, Veronica Simeoni, Stuart Skelton and Louis Otey (17/5). Their second is more straightforward, Verdi's Requiem with Hibia Gerzmava, Ekaterina Semenchuk and Joseph Calleja (18/5).

The London Philharmonic's FUNharmonics continue with another of Benjamin Wallfisch's works based on Roald Dahl, this time The Ant-Eater. There are also family workshops to have a go at playing an instrument or joining the Family Orchestra (11/5).

If you haven't caught the restored and re-vitalised Royal Festival Hall organ yet, then now is your chance. Charles Dutoit is conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in Saint-Saens Symphony No. 3 (with Stephen Disley playing the organ) and it is paired with Susan Graham singing Berlioz's Les nuits d'ete (14/5).

Elsewhere on this blog:

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