Saturday 1 June 2013

The Art of Fear at the South Bank.

Sunday 9 June 2013 there is an interesting pair of concerts at the South Bank Centre in their continuing festival, The Rest is Noise. Both under the heading the Art of Fear, the two concerts showcase a pair of remarkable young ensembles.

Spira Mirabilis will be playing Richard Strauss's Metamorphosen, his lament for the bombing of Munich and the loss of the world of his youth. Written for 23 solo strings, Strauss's remarkable late work (he was over 80 when he wrote it) will be played by the young European ensemble Spira Mirabilis. The group play without a conductor and have a superb reputation for remarkable music making. Before a complete performance of the work, writer and philosopher Roger Scruton speaks about war and elegy, followed by an illustrated introduction to the music with Stephen Johnson. After the performance there will be an opportunity for discussion between the players and audience.

Then another young ensemble, the Aurora Orchestra conducted by Nicholas Collon, delve into an entirely different milieu, that of Soviet Russia. There are links, however, because the central work on the programme is Rudolph Barshai's arrangement of Dmitri Shostakovich's String Quartet No.3, known in this version as Chamber Symphony in F, Op.73a. An intensely personal work, the piece was Shostakovich's response to the bombing of Dresden. Aurora Orchestra's programme also includes music by Khachaturian, Kabalevsky and Stravinsky as well as films on Stalinism and Stalin's relation to artists.

Further information on both concerts from the South Bank Centre website

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