Thursday 24 Oct 2019, 7.30pmRoyal Festival Hall, London
Philharmonia Box Office : 020 7921 3907
Elim Chan conductor
Sol Gabetta cello
Britten Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes
Shostakovich Cello Concerto No. 1
Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 2, Little Russian
Music by Tchaikovsky and Britten inspired by two very different landscapes, and Sol Gabetta in Shostakovich’s fiery Cello Concerto No. 1.
Elim Chan first conducted the Philharmonia in 2017, on her meteoric rise to a busy international career. She returns at the request of audience members and musicians alike.
Tchaikovsky, on holiday in the Ukraine, worked the folk songs he heard there into his second symphony. The first movement grows out of the haunting melody of ‘Down by Mother Volga’, played first by a solo horn and bassoon, and the energetic finale is a set of variations on ‘The Crane’.
The moods of a very different landscape suffuse Britten’s Four Sea Interludes, extracts from his opera Peter Grimes. In this dark story set on the Suffolk coast, the sea is a constant, implacable presence, whether calm or stormy, at dawn or by moonlight. Britten and his partner Peter Pears, both conscientious objectors, lived in self-imposed exile in the United States from 1939, but it was partly writing this music, said Britten, that made him realise “in a flash… where I belonged”, and they returned to Suffolk in 1942.
At the heart of the programme is Shostakovich’s fiery Cello Concerto No. 1. Widely considered the height of achievement for a cellist, the piece gives the solo horn, and indeed every member of the orchestra, the chance to shine too. Charismatic cellist Sol Gabetta follows in illustrious footsteps – Shostakovich wrote the concerto in 1959 for his young friend, and erstwhile orchestration student, Mstislav Rostropovich.
ABOUT THIS PERFORMANCE
- Prices: £58 (premium); £45; £36; £28; £19; £12
- Discounts: Subscription discounts available; under-18s and concessions discounts available; £8 tickets for students via Student Pulse one month before the concert (limited availability)
- Running time: 105 minutes, including 20 minute interval
- Before the concert: FREE (ticket required) Music of Today concert, 6pm Purcell Room