Sunday 21 July 2013

London Philharmonic Orchestra's 2013/14 season

London Philharmonic Orchestra
The first half of the London Philharmonic Orchestra's 2013/14 season at the Royal Festival Hall on London's South Bank, sees the orchestra completing their contribution to the South Bank Centre's The Rest is Noise festival with concerts celebrating Britten's centenary as well as performing music by his friends and contemporaries such as Poulenc, Shostakovich, Ligeti Schnittke and Dutilleux. Moving further ahead in time they explore Messian, Gubadulina and Part before giving us some key British works from the 1990's by MacMillan and Ades.

The season opens, almost inevitably, with a celebration of Britten's centenary, Vladimir Jurowski conducts a trio of concerts of the composer's music. First Peter Grimes with Stuart Skelton as Grimes, Pamela Armstrong at Ellen Orford and Alan Opie as Balstrode (28/9). Then the orchestra is joined by cellist Truls Mork and tenor Mark Padmore to perform  Nocturne, Britten's final orchestral song cycle, and the Cello Symphony written for Rostropovich, plus music from The Prince of the Pagodas and Suite on English Folksongs (2/10), finally the War Requiem with Tatiana Mongarova, Ian Bostridge and Matthias Goerne (12/10).

The Britten concerts are part of the South Bank Centre's The Rest Is Noise, so we also get concerts with music by Britten's contemporaries. Plus the LPO's other secret weapon, the wonderful Yannick Nezet-Seguin Poulenc's Piano Concerto and rarely performed Stabat Mater are paired with Prokofiev, with  Nezet-Seguin conducting and Alexandre Tharaud as soloist (23/10). Nezet-Seguin also conducts Shostakovich's Symphony no. 13 (Babi Yar) plus music by Dutilleux (26/10). Then Michail Jurowski conducts a programme which combines Lutoslawski's powerful Cello Concerto (soloist Johannes Moser) with music by Ligeti and Schnittke (30/10).

The treats continue!

Christoph Eschenbach conducts Messiaen's epic Des canyons aux etoiles (2/11) and Tonu Kaljuste directs the orchestra in a programme of music by Sofia Gubaidulina and Arvo Part, including Part's seminal Berlin Mass. Finally in this exploration of the 20th century, we have Penderecki's Violin Concerto No. 1 and Gorecki's Symphony No. 3 conducted by Michal Dworzynski (27/11).

Continuing in a more contemporary vein Jurowski returns with a pair of concerts celebrating music from the 1990's, Thomas Ades amazing Asyla is teamed up with James MacMillan's  seminal Veni veni Emmanuel performed by the percussionist for whom it was written, Evelyn Glennie, plus music by Julian Anderson and Mark Anthony Turnage (7/12), and John Adams El Nino makes a welcome appearance (14/12).

Moving into 2014, we say good by to The Rest is Noise, which of course means goodbye to extensively themed programming. Still, there are delights. Lawrence Power premieres James MacMillan's Viola Concerto with Vladimir Jurowksi conducting (15/1/2014) and Karl Amadeus Hartman makes a rare appearance with his Concerto Funebre (22/1)

Osmo Vanska conducts a rather intriguing programme of music by Balakirev, Khachaturian and Kalinnikov. Marc Andre-Hamelin is the soloist in Khachaturian's Piano Concerto, a work which has a part for an instrument seemingly related to the musical saw (I kid you not!) (19/2).

Julian Anderson's Alleluia is paired up with Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with Jurowski conducting an interesting quartet of soloists, Emma Bella, Anna Stephany, John Dszak and Gerald Finley(1/3). And Gorecki's Symphony no. 4 receives its world premiere on 12 April with Andrey Boreyko conducting a programme which also includes Julian Rachlin playing Stravinsky's Violin Concerto and Polish composer Alexandre Tansman's Stele in memorian Igor Stravinsky, written in memory of the composers friendship forged in 1940's Hollywood.

Anna Caterina Antonacci is the soloist in Berlioz's Les nuits d'ete in an all French programme conducted by Nezet-Seguin. The other two items give the restored RFH organ a work out (I think it is due to be complete by then), with Poulenc's Organ Concerto and Saint-Saens Symphony no. 3 with James O'Donnell at the console (26/3).

All in all, quite a strong season which does make quite an attempt to move away from simply re-cycling the standard repertoire.

Further information from the London Philharmonic Orchestra's website.
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