Thursday 28 Nov 2019, 6pmRoyal Festival Hall, London
Pascal Rophé conductor
Claire Booth soprano
Augusta Read Thomas Selene (Moon Chariot Rituals) European premiere
Augusta Read Thomas Of Being is a Bird (Emily Dickinson settings)
Mythical goddesses and graceful birds whirl through the Royal Festival Hall in tonight’s concert, showcasing the full expressive range of the music of Augusta Read Thomas.
In Greek legend, Selene, goddess of the moon, rides across the sky in a chariot each night, bringing the light of the moon to the mortals below. In scoring Selene (Moon Chariot Rituals) for a combined ensemble of string quartet and percussion quartet, Thomas uses rhythmic patterns and dramatic harmonies to bring out both a sense of wonder and mystery, as well as the raw thrill of the goddess’s night-time ride through the heavens.
Of Being is a Bird sets two Emily Dickinson poems to music, framing an instrumental interlude. Over the three movements, delicate backing from the ensemble supports a luminous vocal line that grows gradually from an awed, slow texture evoking a sense of human wonder, into energetic, leaping melodies that bring to mind a bird in flight. Thomas wrote the piece especially for the virtuosic voice of soprano Claire Booth, the soloist in tonight’s performance.
ABOUT THIS PERFORMANCE
- Tickets: This concert is FREE and unticketed - just walk in
- Running time: 45 minutes, no interval
- Concert programme: Free programmes are available upon entry
- Drinks: You can take drinks from the bar into this evening's performance
- After the concert: Vladimir Ashkenazy conducts Grieg, Brahms, and Dvořák, Royal Festival Hall, 7.30pm
- Download programme notes: Thursday 28 Nov 2019
This concert is part of the Music of Today series