Jaunty or well-upholstered, Copland and Korngold are living the American dream under an American conductor with a musical hot line to his country’s wide open spaces. Tchaikovsky, meantime, reaches the end of the road in a symphony as uplifting as it is harrowing.
Copland An Outdoor Overture
Korngold Violin Concerto
Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 6 ‘Pathétique’
Conductor Andrew Litton
Violin Stefan Jackiw
It emerges from silence into the foreboding of bassoon-flecked low strings, and fades into nothingness; Tchaikovsky’s symphonic swansong completes a gripping survey of the last three symphonies begun last season. There’s light as well as shade though. Copland’s breezy overture conjures up the American great outdoors, while Korngold is off to the movies for a lush, technicolour concerto that can’t resist quoting some of his film music. It was conceived, he insisted, “for a Caruso rather than a Paganini”, but in Heifetz who gave the 1947 premiere “I got both for the price of one”.
Sometime Principal Conductor of the BSO and now its Conductor Laureate, Andrew Litton is no stranger to Colston Hall. “A natural ear for Tchaikovskian detail… and superb playing” (Gramophone) distinguished their EMI Tchaikovsky cycle; and for the Korngold they welcome “a talent that’s off the scale” (Washington Post); a violinist whose playing “is as close to perfection as music can get” (The Globe and Mail’).
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The Lantern – 18:25
Music educator and conductor Jonathan James introduces this evening’s concert with his trademark deep enthusiasm and fascinating breadth of knowledge.
Get to know the programmes for each concert before you arrive with our specially commissioned videos and bite-sized programme notes.
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