Congress Theatre, Eastbourne 2013/14 season Concert programme
Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor VLADIMIR JUROWSKI* Principal Guest Conductor YANNICK NÉZET-SÉGUIN Leader pieter schoeman Composer in Residence JULIAN ANDERSON Patron HRH THE DUKE OF KENT KG Chief Executive and Artistic Director TIMOTHY WALKER AM
Congress Theatre, Eastbourne Sunday 27 April 2014 | 3.00pm
Berlioz Roman Carnival Overture (9’) Saint-Saëns Violin Concerto No. 3 in B minor (29’)
Programme £2.50 Contents 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 11 12
Welcome 2014/15 season About the Orchestra On stage Timothy Redmond Matthew Trusler Programme notes 2013/14 Eastbourne Appeal Supporters LPO administration
Interval Ravel Le tombeau de Couperin (16’) Beethoven Symphony No. 6 in F (Pastoral) (40’)
Timothy Redmond conductor Matthew Trusler violin
* supported by the Tsukanov Family Foundation and one anonymous donor CONCERT PRESENTED BY THE LONDON PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA IN ASSOCIATION WITH EASTBOURNE BOROUGH COUNCIL
The timings shown are not precise and are given only as a guide.
Welcome to the Congress Theatre, Eastbourne Artistic Director Chris Jordan General Manager Gavin Davis Welcome to this afternoon’s performance by the London Philharmonic Orchestra. We hope you enjoy the concert and your visit here. As a courtesy to others, please ensure mobile phones and watch alarms are switched off during the performance. Thank you. We are delighted and proud to have the London Philharmonic Orchestra reside at the Congress Theatre for the 17th year. Thank you, our audience, for continuing to support the concert series. Without you, these concerts would not be possible. We welcome comments from our customers. Should you wish to contribute, please speak to the House Manager on duty, email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Gavin Davis, General Manager, Eastbourne Theatres, Compton Street, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN21 4BP.
London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Congress Theatre next season Booking opens tomorrow, Monday 28 April, for our 2014/15 season at the Congress Theatre. Pick up a season brochure as you leave tonight, call 020 7840 4242 to request a copy, or browse online at lpo.org.uk/eastbourne Sunday 5 October 2014 | 3.00pm
Sunday 15 March 2015 | 3.00pm
Dvořák The Noonday Witch Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 6 (Pathétique)
Beethoven Symphony No. 1 Haydn Piano Concerto in D major, Hob. VIII.11 Rossini Overture, The Barber of Seville Mozart Symphony No. 41, K551 (Jupiter)
Vladimir Jurowski conductor Jean-Efflam Bavouzet piano
Daniel Smith conductor Maria Meerovitch piano
Sunday 30 November 2014 | 3.00pm Beethoven Violin Concerto Brahms Symphony No. 1
Sunday 29 March 2015 | 3.00pm
Aziz Shokhakimov conductor Dmitri Berlinsky violin
Tchaikovsky Romeo and Juliet (Fantasy Overture) Elgar Cello Concerto Rimsky-Korsakov Scheherazade
Sunday 22 February 2015 | 3.00pm
Jaime Martín conductor Andreas Brantelid cello
Borodin In the Steppes of Central Asia Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto Dvořák Symphony No. 9 (From the New World) Garry Walker conductor Tamsin Waley-Cohen violin
Sunday 12 April 2015 | 3.00pm Elgar Introduction and Allegro Mendelssohn Violin Concerto Beethoven Symphony No. 7 Domingo Hindoyan conductor Madalyn Parnas violin
Tickets £13–£29 (including £1 per ticket booking fee) Box Office 01323 412000 | Book online at eastbournetheatres.co.uk
2 | London Philharmonic Orchestra
London Philharmonic Orchestra
‘The LPO are an orchestra on fire at the moment.’ Bachtrack.com, 2 October 2013, Royal Festival Hall: Vladimir Jurowski conducts Britten
The London Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the world’s finest orchestras, balancing a long and distinguished history with a reputation as one of the UK’s most dynamic and forward-looking orchestras. As well as its concert performances, the Orchestra also records film soundtracks, has its own record label, and enhances the lives of thousands of people every year through activities for schools and local communities. The Orchestra was founded by Sir Thomas Beecham in 1932, and since then its Principal Conductors have included Sir Adrian Boult, Bernard Haitink, Sir Georg Solti, Klaus Tennstedt and Kurt Masur. Vladimir Jurowski is the current Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor, appointed in 2007, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin is Principal Guest Conductor. The Orchestra is resident at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall in London, where it gives around 40 concerts each season. 2013/14 highlights have included a Britten centenary celebration with Vladimir Jurowski including the War Requiem and Peter Grimes; world premieres of James MacMillan’s Viola Concerto and Górecki’s Fourth Symphony; French repertoire with Yannick Nézet-Séguin; and a stellar array of soloists including Evelyn Glennie, Mitsuko Uchida,Leif Ove Andsnes, Miloš Karadaglić, Renaud Capuçon, Emanuel Ax and Simon Trpčeski. Throughout 2013 the Orchestra collaborated with Southbank Centre on the year-long festival The Rest is Noise, exploring the influential works of the 20th century. The London Philharmonic Orchestra enjoys flourishing residencies in Brighton and Eastbourne, and performs regularly around the UK. Every summer, the Orchestra takes up its annual residency at Glyndebourne Festival Opera, where it has been Resident Symphony Orchestra for 50 years. The Orchestra also tours internationally, performing concerts to sell-out audiences worldwide. Highlights of the 2013/14 season have included visits
to the USA, Russia, Romania, Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Belgium, France and Spain, and plans for 2014/15 include returns to many of the above plus visits to Turkey, Iceland, the USA (West and East Coast), Canada, China and Australia. The London Philharmonic Orchestra has recorded many blockbuster film scores, from The Lord of the Rings trilogy to Lawrence of Arabia, East is East, Hugo, and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. It also broadcasts regularly on television and radio, and in 2005 established its own record label. There are now over 75 releases available on CD and to download. Recent additions include Brahms’s Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4 and Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 with Vladimir Jurowski; Orff’s Carmina Burana with Hans Graf; Vaughan Williams’s Symphonies Nos. 5 & 7 with Bernard Haitink; Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Sarah Connolly and Toby Spence; and a disc of works by the Orchestra’s Composer in Residence, Julian Anderson. In summer 2012 the London Philharmonic Orchestra performed as part of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Pageant on the River Thames, and was also chosen to record all the world’s national anthems for the London 2012 Olympics. The London Philharmonic Orchestra is committed to inspiring the next generation through its BrightSparks schools’ concerts and FUNharmonics family concerts; the Leverhulme Young Composers programme; and the Foyle Future Firsts orchestral training programme for outstanding young players. Over recent years, digital advances and social media have enabled the Orchestra to reach even more people across the globe: all its recordings are available to download from iTunes and, as well as a YouTube channel and regular podcast series, the Orchestra has a lively presence on Facebook and Twitter. Find out more and get involved! lpo.org.uk facebook.com/londonphilharmonicorchestra twitter.com/LPOrchestra
London Philharmonic Orchestra | 3
First Violins Vesselin Gellev Leader Ji-Hyun Lee Chair supported by Eric Tomsett
Katalin Varnagy Chair supported by Sonja Drexler
Martin Höhmann Geoffrey Lynn Chair supported by Caroline, Jamie & Zander Sharp
Grace Lee Ishani Bhoola Caroline Sharp Maeve Jenkinson Robert Yeomans Kate Cole Francesca Smith Second Violins Takane Funatsu Guest Principal Joseph Maher Kate Birchall Chair supported by David & Victoria Graham Fuller
Nancy Elan Fiona Higham Ashley Stevens Sioni Williams Harry Kerr Elizabeth Baldey Stephen Dinwoodie Violas Gregory Aronovich Principal Susanne Martens Benedetto Pollani Emmanuella Reiter Naomi Holt Isabel Pereira Sarah Malcolm Martin Fenn
Cellos Gregory Walmsley Principal David Lale Elisabeth Wiklander Santiago Carvalho† Sue Sutherley Susanna Riddell Double Basses George Peniston Principal Richard Lewis Helen Rowlands Tom Walley Flutes Tom Hancox Guest Principal Hannah Grayson Piccolo Julia Crowell Oboes Gareth Hulse Guest Principal Sarah Harper Cor Anglais Sue Böhling Principal Chair supported by Julian & Gill Simmonds
Clarinets Robert Hill* Principal Emily Meredith Bassoons Ben Hudson Guest Principal Emma Harding
Horns Stephen Nicholls Guest Principal Martin Hobbs Duncan Fuller Joseph Ryan Trumpets Paul Beniston* Principal Anne McAneney* Chair supported by Geoff & Meg Mann
Cornets Nicholas Betts Daniel Newell Trombones Mark Templeton* Principal Chair supported by William & Alex de Winton
David Whitehouse Bass Trombone Lyndon Meredith Principal Timpani Simon Carrington* Principal Percussion Andrew Barclay* Principal Chair supported by Andrew Davenport
Keith Millar Sarah Mason James Bower Harp Rachel Masters* Principal Chair supported by Friends of the Orchestra
* Holds a professorial appointment in London † Chevalier of the Brazilian Order of Rio Branco
Chair Supporters The London Philharmonic Orchestra also acknowledges the following chair supporters whose players are not present at this concert: Simon Robey The Sharp Family Neil Westreich
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Vesselin Gellev (Leader) Bulgarian violinist Vesselin Gellev has been a featured soloist with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Spoleto Festival Orchestra, New Haven Symphony Orchestra and Juilliard Orchestra, among others. He won First Prize at the Concert Artists Guild Competition in New York as a member of the Antares Quartet, and has recorded several albums and toured worldwide as Concertmaster of Kristjan Järvi’s Grammy-nominated Absolute Ensemble. He has performed as Guest Leader with orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. Vesselin studied at The Juilliard School, and joined the London Philharmonic Orchestra as Sub-Leader in 2007.
Timothy Redmond conductor
Timothy Redmond conducts and presents concerts throughout Europe. He is a regular guest conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra both in the recording studio and the concert hall, and conducts many of the UK’s other leading orchestras. He has given concerts with the London Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, BBC Concert and Ulster orchestras and the Orchestra of Opera North. He works regularly with the Hallé and the Royal Northern Sinfonia, has a long-standing association with the Manchester Camerata, and in 2006 was appointed Principal Conductor of the Cambridge Philharmonic Orchestra. He has recently guest-conducted orchestras in Bosnia, Estonia, Finland, Italy, Macedonia, Slovenia and the USA, and broadcasts regularly on TV and radio. Timothy Redmond is well-known as a conductor of contemporary music. Since working closely with composer Thomas Adès on the premiere of his opera The Tempest at Covent Garden, he has conducted critically acclaimed productions of Adès’s Powder Her Face for the Royal Opera House, English National Opera and St Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre. In 2010 he conducted the world premiere of The Golden Ticket, Peter Ash and Donald Sturrock’s new opera based on Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, for Opera Theatre of St Louis. Last season he conducted the work’s European premiere at the Wexford Festival and gave the first performance of a new oratorio by Edward Rushton with the London Symphony Orchestra.
Knight). He has also conducted for the American Lyric Theater (Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York), the UKLA Festival (Los Angeles) and spent several seasons on the music staff of De Vlaamse Opera and Garsington Opera. His recordings include Dreams with the French cellist Ophélie Gaillard and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (Harmonia Mundi); discs with soprano Natasha Marsh and singer-songwriter Mara Carlyle for EMI; and CDs with the Royal Northern Sinfonia and the Philharmonia Orchestra. Timothy’s 2011/12 season included concerts with the Hallé, Manchester Camerata, Royal Northern Sinfonia and BBC Symphony Orchestra; several engagements with the Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra in Skopje; and a concert performance of Bernstein’s Candide in Cambridge. In May 2012 he collaborated with Valery Gergiev on The Rite of Spring and Oedipus Rex before conducting a concert of jazz-inspired works to conclude the London Symphony Orchestra’s Stravinsky Festival. In 2012/13 he enjoyed return engagements with the London Symphony, BBC Symphony and Royal Philharmonic orchestras, Oulu Sinfonia (Finland), Sinfonia ViVA and Manchester Camerata, and assisted Thomas Adès for the New York premiere of The Tempest at the Metropolitan Opera. The 2013/14 season has included concerts with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra at the Gergiev Festival and in St Petersburg, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in China, the Oulu Sinfonia, the Cambridge Philharmonic Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra. He also recently conducted English National Opera’s new production of Thomas Adès’s Powder Her Face at London’s Ambika P3, an exhibition and performance space developed from a former concrete construction hall within the University of Westminster.
In the opera house Timothy has conducted productions for Opera North (Don Giovanni), English National Opera (world premiere of Will Todd’s Damned and Divine), English Touring Opera (Carmen, The Magic Flute, The Daughter of the Regiment), Almeida Opera/Aldeburgh Festival (world premiere of Raymond Yiu’s The Original Chinese Conjuror), Bregenz Festival (Richard Ayres’s The Cricket Recovers), Wexford Festival (Weill’s Der Silbersee) and Tenerife Opera (the Glyndebourne productions of Carmen, Gianni Schicchi and Rachmaninoff’s The Miserly London Philharmonic Orchestra | 5
© Sheila Rock
On graduating from Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute in 1998, The Times declared of Matthew Trusler that ‘we might just have an authentic, though British, virtuoso.’ Since then Trusler has developed a reputation as one of Britain’s leading violinists, performing with the world’s great orchestras and receiving huge critical acclaim for his diverse recordings. He has also founded the Orchid Classics record label and the Lenny Trusler Children’s Foundation, which raises money for desperately ill babies. Trusler was instrumental in forming the Malmö International String Festival, of which he became Artistic Director in 2011, and was in 2012 appointed a director of Delange Artist Management, based in Amsterdam. Performing with a bow once owned by Jascha Heifetz, given to him by Herbert Axelrod (who himself received it from Heifetz), Trusler has received particular acclaim for his performances of 20th-century works including concertos by Walton, Berg and Britten. His recording of concertos by Korngold and Rózsa with the Düsseldorf Symphony Orchestra received 5 stars in BBC Music magazine, and the headline ‘Hotter than Heifetz?’ Trusler has been invited to perform as a recitalist and concerto soloist throughout Europe, Australia, the USA, Japan and South Africa. In the UK he has appeared with the London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, Philharmonia, BBC Symphony, BBC Scottish Symphony, City of Birmingham Symphony and Hallé orchestras; the BBC National Orchestra of Wales; and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. Further afield he has appeared with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, NDR Hannover, and the Minnesota, Helsinki Philharmonic, Malaysian Philharmonic and Johannesburg Philharmonic orchestras. Alongside his concerto work, Matthew Trusler is an accomplished recitalist and an avid chamber musician who has given recitals in leading venues around the world. He has performed frequently with pianist Wayne
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Marshall, and their disc Blues presents a collection of short pieces by composers directly influenced by jazz. The CD was released to huge critical acclaim, including CD of the Week in The Telegraph and on Classic FM, and Recital CD of the Month in The Strad magazine. Trusler also performs regularly as a duo with pianist Ashley Wass and collaborates with other eminent musicians including Piotr Anderszewski, Martin Roscoe, Peter Donohoe, Imogen Cooper, Leonidas Kavakos, Lynn Harrell and Joseph Silverstein. His latest chamber collaboration is the newly formed ‘Trio Apaches’ with pianist Ashley Wass and cellist Thomas Carroll. The Trio has been warmly welcomed onto the international chamber music scene and will release its first disc, on the Orchid Classics label, next year. Trusler founded Orchid Classics in 2005, and the label now has major distribution internationally. In addition the company has launched the Orchid Music Charitable Trust, which helps talented young British musicians to make and promote recordings. Past and future artists to appear on Orchid in both spoken word and music recordings include Danny DeVito, Clive Owen, Ralph Fiennes, James Gilchrist, Boris Giltburg, Guy Johnston, the Brodsky Quartet and Ex Cathedra. In addition to the Rósza/Korngold, Blues and Pity of War discs, Trusler’s recordings include a newly orchestrated version of Heifetz’s Porgy and Bess arrangement with the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Carl Davis, as well as a new disc for children entitled Fairy Tales on the Orchid Classics label. This season will see the muchanticipated release of Trusler’s recording of the Britten Violin Concerto with the Flanders Symphony Orchestra, also on Orchid Classics. Trusler also has a passion for film, and has recently acted as a consultant on the adaptation of Norman Lebrecht’s novel The Song of Names for film, with screenplay by Jeffrey Caine (Oscar Nominee for The Constant Gardener). Recently he recorded the violin solos for the soundtrack of a new French film by director Frédéric Mermoud, Complices. Matthew Trusler holds a teaching post at the Malmö Academy in Sweden, has two young daughters, and lives in London. He plays a 1711 Stradivarius.
Speedread Three very different characters take the stage in the all-French first part of tonight’s concert: Berlioz, the passionate Romantic who in his opera Benvenuto Cellini got carried away to the extent of impracticality but who preserved the work’s exuberant spirit in his Roman Carnival Overture; Saint-Saëns, the effortlessly talented conservative and consummate professional who never seemed to strike a false note; and Ravel, the exquisite master of colour, harmony and form.
Beethoven’s symphonies made a huge impression on Paris when they were performed there in the 1820s, not least on the young Berlioz. ‘This is no question of gaily dressed shepherds’, he wrote of the ‘Pastoral’, ‘it is a matter of nature in her simple truth.’ The triumph of Beethoven’s Sixth is indeed that in spite of its descriptive titles it can be enjoyed perfectly well as a symphony in its own right – and a symphony of unusually rich and gentle beauties at that.
Roman Carnival Overture, Op. 9
Berlioz’s Roman Carnival Overture is a masterpiece of musical salvage. In 1838 his first opera to make it into production, Benvenuto Cellini, based on the sensational memoirs of the Renaissance sculptor and tearaway of that name, flopped badly at the Paris Opéra. Dramatically over-ambitious and technically too demanding for its performers, it fared little better at a revival the following year, after which it was clear that there was little prospect of it being heard again in Berlioz’s lifetime. ‘I cannot help recognising that it contains a variety of ideas, an energy and exuberance and a brilliance of colour such as I may perhaps never find again’, he later wrote. Yet when he had got over the disappointment he rescued two of the opera’s best moments and made them the basis of a thrilling concert overture, composed in the second half of 1843 and premiered in February 1844.
intimacy symbolised by a passage in which the theme is heard in canon), before the carnival revels get going in a whirling, percussion-driven saltarello dance. Fragments of the love theme are later heard in the brass, but by now the momentum is unstoppable, and the end arrives in a blaze of typical Berliozian brilliance.
The two passages Berlioz raided from the opera were a love duet and the music for some heady street carnival celebrations. Following a brash but brief opening, the blissful love-duet theme appears on solo cor anglais. The orchestra then builds on this (the lovers’ growing London Philharmonic Orchestra | 7
Programme notes continued
Camille Saint-Saëns 1835–1921
Saint-Saëns composed three violin concertos, the first two when he was in his twenties, and the third over two decades later in 1880, by which time he had also composed four of his five piano concertos and the first of his two cello concertos. Although he was predominantly at home in the ‘Viennese’ tradition of sonatas, symphonies, concertos and chamber music, he often showed a willingness to experiment with the formal outlines of these models. In this he was like another prodigiously talented 19th-century conservative, Felix Mendelssohn, and indeed there is at least one similarity between Saint-Saëns’s Third Concerto – composed for the great Spanish virtuoso Pablo de Sarasate – and Mendelssohn’s more famous Violin Concerto: both start their finales with introductions in the ‘wrong’ key. Also like Mendelssohn was Saint-Saëns’s ability to create an affecting Romantic atmosphere in an instant, something that he demonstrates at the beginning of
Violin Concerto Concerto No. No. 33in inBBminor, minor,Op. Op.61 61 Matthew Trusler violin 1 Allegro non troppo 2 Andantino quasi allegretto 3 Molto moderato e maestoso – Allegro non troppo
this Concerto’s first movement, cast in a passionate mood that seems to presage the corresponding movement in Elgar’s Violin Concerto, composed 30 years later and likewise in B minor. The second theme, when it arrives, is in the key of E major, giving it a remote and other-worldly feel. The second movement is also in a key distant from the Concerto’s starting-point – this time B flat major – but the mood here is a warm one, with the gentle, dreamy lilt of a barcarolle (or gondolier’s song) and intimate duetting between soloist and woodwind. The introduction to the last movement is surprising not just for its key (E minor), but also for its manner, which is that of a bold operatic recitative. A march-like Allegro follows, full of memorable themes, one of which, a softly intoned chorale-like melody, reappears towards the end, transformed and triumphant.
Interval – 20 minutes A bell will be rung a few minutes before the end of the interval.
2013/14 Eastbourne Appeal The London Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2013/14 Eastbourne season has been filled with fabulous performances by exceptional guest artists in the likes of Ilyich Rivas, Philippe Quint and Rustem Hayroudinoff, watched by enthusiastic sell-out audiences. Thanks to our generous Eastbourne audiences contributing to our Annual Appeal, we continue to go from strength to strength, being able to provide unique opportunities for extremely talented up-and-coming young conductors and soloists in our Eastbourne season. So far this year we have raised just over £4,000 but with the final concert of the 2013/14 season upon us, it’s not too late to make a donation to help support our work. Any donation, large or small, is invaluable to us. To make a donation simply contact Sarah Fletcher on 020 7840 4225 or email@example.com
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Maurice Ravel 1875–1937
Le tombeau de Couperin 1 Prélude 2 Forlane 3 Menuet 4 Rigaudon
Le tombeau de Couperin, Ravel’s homage to French music of the 18th century, began life in July 1914 when the composer wrote a dance for piano solo inspired by a transcription he had made of the Forlane from one of François Couperin’s Concerts royaux of 1722. The war years, during which Ravel served in the transport corps, intervened, and it was not until June 1917, after he had been invalided out, that he returned to it. By now, however, the piece had acquired a second level of meaning, and when it arrived at its final form in November it had become a suite in six movements, each dedicated to the memory of a friend or friends killed in the war. Marguerite Long gave the premiere in April 1919, and that same year Ravel produced an orchestration, selecting just four of the original
movements and reordering them slightly. This version received it premiere in Paris on 28 February 1920.
Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68 (Pastoral)
Beethoven loved nature and the open air. He spent most of his summers away from Vienna in the country retreats of Heiligenstadt, Mödling and Baden, where he would walk the woods and fields notebook in hand, and even back in the city short strolls were a regular part of his work routine. ‘No one can love the countryside as much as I do’, he once said, ‘for surely woods, trees and rocks produce the echo which man desires to hear.’ But nature was not just a balm for the senses; for Beethoven
Interest among French composers in the music of their Baroque forbears was high in the decades around 1900, and though Ravel was not aiming at pastiche, he married Couperin’s clear-cut structural models, with their repeating sections, to his own natural elegance and polish. Thus the toccata-like Prélude teems with ruffling expectancy, the rondo-form Forlane effortlessly reinterprets the buoyant rhythms of the Couperin original, the Menuet is a masterpiece of classical beauty and poise, and the Rigaudon encloses a dainty central section within boisterous outer panels.
1 2 3 4 5
Pleasant, cheerful feelings awakened on arrival in the countryside (Allegro ma non troppo) Scene by the brook (Andante molto moto) Merry gathering of country folk (Allegro) – Thunder Storm (Allegro) – Shepherd’s song: benevolent feelings, combined with thanks to the deity, after the storm (Allegretto)
it was evidence of the Creator’s hand. Raised on the tolerant attitudes of the Enlightenment, he had little interest in conventional formal religion, and it was in the outdoors, amidst the wonders of the natural world, that he found himself closest to God. He was hardly alone in that – such feelings were part of the spirit of the early Romantic age – but it was perhaps his unique placing at the threshold of the Classical and Romantic eras in music that allowed such a work as the ‘Pastoral’
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Programme notes continued
Symphony to achieve greatness. ‘More an expression of feeling than painting’, said Beethoven, and it is true that, while the atmosphere of the countryside pervades every bar, the Sixth Symphony can be fully enjoyed without resort to mental pictures of shepherds, peasants and cuckoos. Even so, the members of the audience at the work’s premiere in a freezing cold Theater an der Wien in December 1808 would have had little difficulty recognising the scene Beethoven was laying out before them. Musical evocations of natural phenomena such as running water, storms and birdsong were familiar from the opera house, as were representations of the countryside’s human population by means of rustic tunes and bagpipe-style drones. There had been pastoral symphonies before, while Haydn’s two great late oratorios The Creation and The Seasons, with their brilliantly executed evocations of the natural world, were regular fixtures in the Viennese concert calendar. These, then, were not the novelties of the Sixth. What may have struck its first listeners as more radical was its effortlessly laid-back character, and the air of repose with which, uniquely in a Beethoven symphony, it both begins and ends. The first movement also introduces us to two other important characteristics of the work, namely themes that seem to want to circle back on themselves in leisurely self-perpetuation, and a general contentedness with simple and slow-moving harmonies. When taking a walk in the country there is no need to hurry, as Beethoven proves in the central development section, where a five-note descending figure borrowed from the opening theme is repeated many times over slowly changing chords, its effect like that of turning one’s gaze to admire different vistas within the same landscape. The second movement is one of Beethoven’s most gorgeous inspirations, and one that he had been harbouring for some time. The watery accompaniment figure had its origin in an idea noted down in a sketchbook from 1802–3, where it carried the heading: ‘murmur of the brook … the deeper the brook, the deeper the sound.’ Deep is the word; the richness and subtlety of Beethoven’s creation give it an unparalleled power to gladden the heart, and so dreamily do we fall under its spell that it hardly seems out of place when the music twice stops sleepily near the end to allow flute, oboe 10 | London Philharmonic Orchestra
and clarinet to give us birdsong imitations identified by Beethoven as nightingale, quail and cuckoo. The last three movements are run together to make an uninterrupted sequence – a move suggested by the programme for sure, but at the same time utterly in keeping with Beethoven’s formal procedures of the time. The third movement is the Symphony’s scherzo, and a robust depiction of bucolic merrymaking. Twice Beethoven pokes fun at the village band (the oboist not sure where to come in, the bassoonist only knowing three notes), and twice the music tips over into an earthier dance in which we can almost hear feet stamping. Eventually the revelries are halted by the menacing rumble of approaching thunder, before the fourth-movement storm hits. When it has run its brief but brutal course and the departing lightning has flashed for the last time, gentle calls given out on clarinet and horn signal the arrival of the finale before going on to form the basis of the movement’s recurring main theme. This hymn of praise is no exultant shout, however, but a joyful and dignified thanksgiving, not just for the brook and the ‘pleasant feelings’ but, we realise, for everything we have witnessed, the storm and the three-note bassoonist included. With a final majestic, swelling peroration, Beethoven ennobles them all. Programme notes © Lindsay Kemp
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We would like to acknowledge the generous support of the following Thomas Beecham Group Patrons, Principal Benefactors and Benefactors: Thomas Beecham Group The Tsukanov Family Foundation Anonymous Neil Westreich William and Alex de Winton Simon Robey The Sharp Family Julian & Gill Simmonds Garf & Gill Collins Andrew Davenport Mrs Sonja Drexler David & Victoria Graham Fuller Mr & Mrs Makharinsky Geoff & Meg Mann Caroline, Jamie & Zander Sharp Eric Tomsett Jane Attias John & Angela Kessler Guy & Utti Whittaker Manon Williams & John Antoniazzi Principal Benefactors Mark & Elizabeth Adams Lady Jane Berrill Desmond & Ruth Cecil Mr John H Cook
David Ellen Commander Vincent Evans Mr Daniel Goldstein Peter MacDonald Eggers Mr & Mrs David Malpas Mr Maxwell Morrison Mr Michael Posen Mr & Mrs Thierry Sciard Mr & Mrs G Stein Mr & Mrs John C Tucker Mr & Mrs John & Susi Underwood Lady Marina Vaizey Grenville & Krysia Williams Mr Anthony Yolland Benefactors Mrs A Beare David & Patricia Buck Mrs Alan Carrington Mr & Mrs Stewart Cohen Mr Alistair Corbett Mr David Edgecombe Mr Richard Fernyhough Tony & Susan Hayes Michael & Christine Henry Malcolm Herring Ivan Hurry Mr Glenn Hurstfield Mr R K Jeha
Per Jonsson Mr Gerald Levin Sheila Ashley Lewis Wg. Cdr. & Mrs M T Liddiard OBE JP RAF Dr Frank Lim Paul & Brigitta Lock Mr Brian Marsh Andrew T Mills John Montgomery Mr & Mrs Andrew Neill Martin and Cheryl Southgate Professor John Studd Mr Peter Tausig Mrs Kazue Turner Howard & Sheelagh Watson Mr Laurie Watt Des & Maggie Whitelock Christopher Williams Bill Yoe and others who wish to remain anonymous Hon. Benefactor Elliott Bernerd Hon. Life Members Kenneth Goode Carol Colburn Grigor CBE Pehr G Gyllenhammar Mrs Jackie Rosenfeld OBE
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Adam Mickiewicz Institute The Peter Minet Trust Maxwell Morrison Charitable Trust The Ann and Frederick O’Brien Charitable Trust Palazzetto Bru Zane – Centre de musique romantique française Polish Cultural Institute in London PRS for Music Foundation Rivers Foundation The R K Charitable Trust Serge Rachmaninoff Foundation The Samuel Sebba Charitable Trust Schroder Charity Trust Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation The David Solomons Charitable Trust The Steel Charitable Trust The John Thaw Foundation The Tillett Trust UK Friends of the Felix-MendelssohnBartholdy-Foundation Sir Siegmund Warburg’s Voluntary Settlement Garfield Weston Foundation The Barbara Whatmore Charitable Trust Youth Music & others who wish to remain anonymous
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Board of Directors Victoria Sharp Chairman Stewart McIlwham* President Gareth Newman* Vice-President Richard Brass Desmond Cecil CMG Vesselin Gellev* Jonathan Harris CBE FRICS Dr Catherine C. Høgel Martin Höhmann* George Peniston* Sir Bernard Rix Kevin Rundell* Julian Simmonds Mark Templeton* Natasha Tsukanova Timothy Walker AM Laurence Watt Neil Westreich Dr Manon Williams * Player-Director Advisory Council Victoria Sharp Chairman Christopher Aldren Richard Brass Sir Alan Collins KCVO CMG Andrew Davenport Jonathan Dawson Christopher Fraser OBE Lord Hall of Birkenhead CBE Clive Marks OBE FCA Stewart McIlwham Baroness Shackleton Lord Sharman of Redlynch OBE Thomas Sharpe QC Martin Southgate Sir Philip Thomas Sir John Tooley Chris Viney Timothy Walker AM Elizabeth Winter American Friends of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Inc. Jenny Ireland Co-Chairman William A. Kerr Co-Chairman Kyung-Wha Chung Alexandra Jupin Dr. Felisa B. Kaplan Jill Fine Mainelli Kristina McPhee Dr. Joseph Mulvehill Harvey M. Spear, Esq. Danny Lopez Hon. Chairman
Noel Kilkenny Hon. Director Victoria Sharp Hon. Director Richard Gee, Esq Of Counsel Jenifer L. Keiser, CPA, EisnerAmper LLP
Education and Community
Isabella Kernot Education Director
Albion Media (Tel: 020 3077 4930) Archives
Alexandra Clarke Education and Community Project Manager
Timothy Walker AM Chief Executive and Artistic Director
Lucy Duffy Education and Community Project Manager
Richard Mallett Education and Community Producer
David Burke General Manager and Finance Director
David Greenslade Finance and IT Manager
Nick Jackman Development Director
Noelia Moreno Charitable Giving Manager
Roanna Gibson Concerts Director
Helen Searl Corporate Relations Manager
Graham Wood Concerts and Recordings Manager
Molly Stewart Development and Events Manager
Jenny Chadwick Tours Manager
Sarah Fletcher Development and Finance Officer
Tamzin Aitken Glyndebourne and UK Engagements Manager Alison Jones Concerts and Recordings Co-ordinator Jo Cotter PA to the Chief Executive / Tours Co-ordinator Orchestra Personnel Andrew Chenery Orchestra Personnel Manager Sarah Holmes Sarah Thomas Librarians (job-share) Christopher Alderton Stage Manager Ellie Swithinbank Assistant Orchestra Personnel Manager
12 | London Philharmonic Orchestra
Rebecca Fogg Development Assistant Marketing Kath Trout Marketing Director Mia Roberts Marketing Manager Rachel Williams Publications Manager Samantha Kendall Box Office Manager (Tel: 020 7840 4242) Libby Northcote-Green Marketing Co-ordinator Penny Miller Intern Digital Projects Alison Atkinson Digital Projects Manager Matthew Freeman Recordings Consultant
Philip Stuart Discographer Gillian Pole Recordings Archive Professional Services Charles Russell Solicitors Crowe Clark Whitehill LLP Auditors Dr Louise Miller Honorary Doctor London Philharmonic Orchestra 89 Albert Embankment London SE1 7TP Tel: 020 7840 4200 Fax: 020 7840 4201 Box Office: 020 7840 4242 Email: email@example.com lpo.org.uk The London Philharmonic Orchestra Limited is a registered charity No. 238045. Photographs of Saint-Saëns, Ravel and Beethoven courtesy of the Royal College of Music, London. Front cover photograph © Patrick Harrison. Printed by Cantate.