Marin Alsop’s programme showcases the versatility of the Philharmonia’s musicians.
The swirling, folk-inflected melodies of Jessie Montgomery’s Strum contrast with two pieces composed under the shadow of war and oppression.
A committed pacifist, Benjamin Britten moved to the United States in 1939 to escape the conflict in Europe and the ordeal of keeping his sexuality hidden. It was there, in a new environment of creativity, friendship and acceptance, that he composed his Violin Concerto. Arabella Steinbacher brings her expertise in 20th-century repertoire, and her “finely polished technique and… beautifully varied palette of timbres” (The New York Times) to this expressive and emotionally complex work.
The possible hidden meanings within Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony, composed under political pressure from Stalin’s regime, have long fascinated listeners. There are generous helpings of spectacle along the road to the symphony’s triumphant ending – but is the triumph genuine or ironic? In the midst of the Soviet heroism and drama lies the hushed, almost religious contemplation of the third movement, the tender heart of the symphony that moved the audience to tears at its 1937 premiere.
Need to know
Prices & Discounts
£13 – £65
Multi-buy offer available; under-18s and concessions discounts available; discounted tickets for students via Student Pulse one month before the concert (limited availability)
1h 55 minutes, including a 20 minute interval
Free printed programmes will be available at the venue. Digital programme notes available a week before the event.
Philharmonia Box Office: 0800 652 6717
Monday to Friday 10am – 5pm
Before the concert
Thursday 19 May, 6pm, The Clore Ballroom
Professor Natasha Loges delves into this evening’s programme.