Saturday 8 August 2015

Russia, Poland, Mexico and Shakespeare - London Philharmonic Orchestra in 2015/16

London Philharmonic Orchestra
There is an interesting Russian thread running through the London Philharmonic Orchestra's 2015/16 season with some lesser known names amongst the familiar works and the premiere of a new mass by Alexander Raskatov. Poland gets a look in too, when Krzysztof Penderecki conducts his own music, and the orchestra will be celebrating both The Year of Mexico in the United Kingdom and Shakespeare 400. Both Magnus Lindberg's violin concertos are performed, and there is a new piece for Matthias Goerne by Marc-Andre Dalbavie.

Sergei Taneyev (1856-1915) was a student, and later friend of Tchaikovsky, and Vladimir Jurowski conducts his St John of Damascus on 26 September 2015. St John of Damascus ("A Russian Requiem"), Op. 1, for 4 part mixed chorus and orchestra (1884) is a response to words by Tolstoy and is full of Russian folk-music and liturgical music. The concert is completed with Francesca da Rimini the Dante inspired tone poem by Taneyev's friend Tchaikovsky, and with Sibelius's Symphony No. 2. Jurowski conducts Sibelius's Violin Concerto with Leonidas Kavakos on 3 October 2015, with Symphony No.3 "The Divine Poem" by Scriabin (who studied with Taneyev), and Oliver Knussen's Scriabin Settings. These latter were written in 1978 for the Apollo Chamber Orchestra, and Oliver Knussen orchestrated five of Scriabin's piano pieces. Finnish conductor Susanna Malkki is at the helm on 27 November for Sibelius's Symphony No. 1 and a pair of Russian works, Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 2 (with Beatrice Rana), and From the Apocalypse by Anatoly Liadov (1855-1914) who was one of Prokofiev's teachers. Green Mass by the Russian composer Alexander Raskatov (born 1953) receives its premiere on 30 January 2016 conducted by Vladimir Jurowski, with soloists Elena Vassilleva, Iestyn Davies, Toby Spence and Nikolay Didenko. The work sets the Latin mass along with additional texts in five languages dedicated to be beauty of nature.

The Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki (born 1933) conducts the orchestra in three of his own pieces, the Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima, and the UK premieres of Adagio for Strings and Harp Concerto. Penderecki will also conduct Shostakovich's Symphony no. 6. The Stabat Mater by Karol Szymanowksi (1882-1937), a Polish composer of an earlier generation, is conducted by Vladimir Jurowski with soloists Elzbieta Szmytka, Anne Sofie von Otter and Andrzej Dobber (5 March 2016)

In November the orchestra helps celebrate The Year of Mexico in the United Kingdom 2015 and Alondra de la Parra conducts a programme of contemporary Mexican music including works by Castro, Federico Ibarra,  Revueltas and Arturo Marquez (6 November 2015).  The Shakespeare 400 celebrations give rise to a number of concerts with music by Dvorak (3 February 2016), Sibelius's Tempest Suite (with Dvorak's rarely performed Piano Concerto with Stephen Hough on 10 February 2016), Nikolai and Korngold (12 February 2016), Strauss (26 February), Prokofiev (15 April), as well as a series of early evening events, all culminating in a gala concert on Saturday 23 April when Vladimir Jurowski conducts music by Verdi, Tchaikovsky, RVW, Britten, Mendelssohn, Berlioz, Prokofiev, Thomas Ades, and Walton with a cast including Kate Royal, Allison Bell, Iestyn Davies, Ronald Samm and Simon Keenlyside.

Robin Ticciati, artistic director of Glyndebourne, conducts Magnus Lindberg's Violin Concerto No.1 with soloist Christian Tezlaff (11 November). The orchestra gives the world premiere of Lindberg's Violin Concerto No. 2 with Jaap van Zweden conducting violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann (9 December 2015). French composer Marc-Andre Dalbavie is writing a new work for Matthias Goerne which will be paired with Brahms German Requiem (with Sarah Tynan and Matthias Goerne) conducted by Christoph von Eschenbach.

Alexander von Zemlinsky's tone poem Der Seejungfrau (The Mermaid) is conducted by Vladimir Jurowski (9 March 2016), whilst David Charles Abell pairs Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 2 (with Jayson Gillham) with the  film Brief Encounter with the score played live.

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