Conductor Ben Gernon
Piano Peter Donohoe
Johan Halvorsen Scenes from Norwegian Fairy Tales Op 37
Edvard Grieg Piano Concerto in A minor Op 16
Edvard Grieg Peer Gynt Suites no. 1 Op 46 and no. 2 Op 55
This Spring, Bristol’s professional orchestra explores the atmospheric music of the Baltic region, areas visited in the months of darkness by the Aurora Borealis, the spectacular and mesmerising Northern Lights. The music from these lands is passionate, often fiercely patriotic and full of haunting melodies and soaring lyricism. The Bristol Ensemble is joined by world-class soloists for these three concerts featuring music from Finland, Norway and Russia.
Johan Halvorsen’s colourful Scenes from Norwegian Fairy Tales opens this programme of music from Norway. Halvorsen considered the dances to be his best work, vividly depicting trolls, kidnapped princesses and fairy tale heroes.
The extraordinary and unmistakable opening bars of Grieg’s piano concerto precedes some of the most beautiful and recognisable melodies to be found in any concerto. Some of the best known themes are inspired by Norwegian folk music and the work displays a wonderfully Nordic character. For this performance, the Bristol Ensemble is joined by one of the foremost pianists of our time, Peter Donohoe.
The programme is completed by Grieg’s Peer Gynt suites, set in the Middle East and including the majestic Morning Mood and the sinister drama of In the Hall of the Mountain King.
Pre-concert interview: Jerry Cowhig interviews Peter Donohoe
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