Concert programme 2013/14 season Part of Southbank Centreâ€™s
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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
Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall Wednesday 30 October 2013 | 7.30pm
Ligeti Lontano (10’) Lutosławski Cello Concerto* (24’) Interval Schnittke Symphony No. 1 (75’)
Programme £3 Contents 2 3 4 6 7 8 9 13 14 15 16
Welcome Tonight’s works in context About the Orchestra On stage tonight Michail Jurowski Johannes Moser Programme notes Next concert Catalyst: Double Your Donation Supporters LPO administration
The timings shown are not precise and are given only as a guide.
Michail Jurowski conductor Johannes Moser cello Free pre-concert event | 6.15–6.45pm | Royal Festival Hall Conductor Michail Jurowski discusses the evening’s programme.
* Generously supported by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute as part of the Polska Music programme – Centenary of Witold Lutosławski 2013.
* supported by the Tsukanov Family Foundation and one anonymous donor CONCERT PRESENTED BY THE LONDON PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA
This concert is being broadcast live by the BBC on Radio 3 Live In Concert. Listen online in HD Sound for 7 days at bbc.co.uk/radio3
Welcome to Southbank Centre We hope you enjoy your visit. We have a Duty Manager available at all times. If you have any queries please ask any member of staff for assistance. Eating, drinking and shopping? Southbank Centre shops and restaurants include Foyles, EAT, Giraffe, Strada, YO! Sushi, wagamama, Le Pain Quotidien, Las Iguanas, ping pong, Canteen, Caffè Vergnano 1882, Skylon, Concrete and Feng Sushi, as well as cafes, restaurants and shops inside Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Hayward Gallery. If you wish to get in touch with us following your visit please contact the Visitor Experience Team at Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX, phone 020 7960 4250, or email firstname.lastname@example.org We look forward to seeing you again soon. A few points to note for your comfort and enjoyment: PHOTOGRAPHY is not allowed in the auditorium. LATECOMERS will only be admitted to the auditorium if there is a suitable break in the performance. RECORDING is not permitted in the auditorium without the prior consent of Southbank Centre. Southbank Centre reserves the right to confiscate video or sound equipment and hold it in safekeeping until the performance has ended. MOBILES, PAGERS AND WATCHES should be switched off before the performance begins.
Southbank Centre’s The Rest Is Noise, inspired by Alex Ross’s book The Rest Is Noise Presented by Southbank Centre in partnership with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. southbankcentre.co.uk/therestisnoise The Rest Is Noise is a year-long festival that digs deep into 20th-century history to reveal the influences on art in general and classical music in particular. Inspired by Alex Ross’s book The Rest Is Noise, we use film, debate, talks and a vast range of concerts to reveal the fascinating stories behind the century’s wonderful and often controversial music. We have brought together the world’s finest orchestras and soloists to perform many of the most significant works of the 20th century. We reveal why these pieces were written and how they transformed the musical language of the modern world. Over the year, The Rest Is Noise focuses on 12 different parts. The music is set in context with talks from a fascinating team of historians, scientists, philosophers, political theorists and musical experts as well as films, online content and other special programmes. If you’re new to 20th-century music, then this is your time to start exploring with us as your tour guide. There has never been a festival like this. Jude Kelly Artistic Director, Southbank Centre
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Tonight’s works in context
1910 1920 1930
1913 Witold Lutosławski born in Warsaw, Poland 1914 Outbreak of World War I 1918 End of World War I 1922 Creation of the Soviet Union (USSR) 1923 György Ligeti born in Târnăveni, Transylvania (now part of Romania) 1928 Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin 1929 Wall Street Crash 1932 London Philharmonic Orchestra founded by Sir Thomas Beecham 1934 Alfred Schnittke born in the Volga German Republic, USSR
1939 Outbreak of World War II 1945 End of World War II
1949 Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four published 1953 Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II 1956 Ligeti fled Hungary for Vienna following the Hungarian Revolution
1960 Alfred Hitchcock’s film Psycho released 1963 John F. Kennedy assassinated in Dallas, Texas 1967 Premiere of Ligeti’s Lontano in Donaueschingen, Germany
1970 Premiere of Lutosławski’s Cello Concerto at London’s Royal Festival Hall 1974 Premiere of Schnittke’s Symphony No. 1 in Gorky (now Nizhny Novgorod), USSR
1977 Death of Elvis Presley 1982 Michael Jackson’s album Thriller became the bestselling album of all time 1984 First Apple Macintosh personal computer on sale in the USA
1989 Fall of the Berlin Wall 1991 Collapse of the Soviet Union (USSR) 1994 Death of Lutosławski in Warsaw
1997 Death of Schnittke in Hamburg 1999 Euro adopted as a single currency by participating countries in Europe 2001 September 11 attacks in the USA 2004 Facebook founded 2006 Death of Ligeti in Vienna 2008 Barack Obama elected President of the USA
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London Philharmonic Orchestra
After playing so perfectly prepared and beautifully detailed as this, the rest is noise indeed. The Guardian 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 its present-day position as one of the most dynamic and forward-looking orchestras in the UK. As well as its performances in the concert hall, the Orchestra also records film and video game soundtracks, has its own successful CD 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. It has since been headed by many of the greatest names in the conducting world, including Sir Adrian Boult, Bernard Haitink, Sir Georg Solti, Klaus Tennstedt and Kurt Masur. Vladimir Jurowski is currently the Orchestra’s Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor, appointed in 2007, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin is Principal Guest Conductor. Julian Anderson is the Orchestra’s current Composer in Residence.
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The Orchestra is based at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall in London, where it has performed since 1951 and been Resident Orchestra since 1992. It gives around 40 concerts there each season with many of the world’s top conductors and soloists. 2013/14 highlights include a Britten centenary celebration with Vladimir Jurowski; world premieres of James MacMillan’s Viola Concerto and Górecki’s Fourth Symphony; French repertoire with Yannick Nézet-Séguin including Poulenc, Dutilleux, Berlioz, and Saint-Saëns’s ‘Organ’ Symphony; and two concerts of epic film scores. We welcome soloists including Evelyn Glennie, Mitsuko Uchida, Leif Ove Andsnes, Miloš Karadaglić, Renaud Capuçon, Emanuel Ax, Leonidas Kavakos, Julia Fischer and Simon Trpčeski, and a distinguished line-up of conductors including Christoph Eschenbach, Osmo Vänskä, Vasily Petrenko, Jukka-Pekka Saraste and Stanisław Skrowaczewski. Throughout the second half of 2013 the Orchestra continues its year-long collaboration with Southbank Centre in The Rest Is Noise festival, exploring the influential works of the 20th century.
Outside London, the Orchestra has flourishing residencies in Brighton and Eastbourne, and performs regularly around the UK. Each summer the Orchestra takes up its annual residency at Glyndebourne Festival Opera in the Sussex countryside, where it has been Resident Symphony Orchestra for 50 years. The Orchestra also tours internationally, performing to sell-out audiences worldwide. In 1956 it became the first British orchestra to appear in Soviet Russia and in 1973 made the first ever visit to China by a Western orchestra. Touring remains a large and vital part of the Orchestra’s life: highlights of the 2013/14 season include visits to the USA, Romania, Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Belgium, France and Spain. The London Philharmonic Orchestra has recorded the soundtracks to numerous blockbuster films, from Lawrence of Arabia, The Mission and East is East to Hugo, The Lord of the Rings trilogy 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 70 releases available on CD and to download. Recent additions include Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 and Tchaikovsky’s Symphonies Nos. 4 & 5 with Vladimir Jurowski; Vaughan Williams’s Symphonies Nos. 5 & 7 with Bernard Haitink; and Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with Yannick NézetSéguin, Sarah Connolly and Toby Spence.
In summer 2012 the Orchestra was invited to take part in The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Pageant on the River Thames, as well as being 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 of musicians and audiences through an energetic programme of activities for young people. Highlights include the BrightSparks schools’ concerts and FUNharmonics family concerts; fusion ensemble The Band; the Leverhulme Young Composers project; 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, iPhone app 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
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On stage tonight
First Violins Laurence Jackson Guest Leader Vesselin Gellev Sub-Leader Chair supported by John & Angela Kessler
Ilyoung Chae Ji-Hyun Lee Chair supported by Eric Tomsett
Catherine Craig Martin Höhmann Geoffrey Lynn Chair supported by Caroline, Jamie & Zander Sharp
Robert Pool Sarah Streatfeild Yang Zhang Grace Lee Rebecca Shorrock Alina Petrenko Galina Tanney Caroline Frenkel Caroline Sharp Second Violins Andrew Storey Guest Principal Joseph Maher Kate Birchall Chair supported by David & Victoria Graham Fuller
Fiona Higham Ashley Stevens Nancy Elan Nynke Hijlkema Emma Wragg Caroline Simon Imogen Williamson Sioni Williams Stephen Stewart Elizabeth Baldey Stephen Dinwoodie Violas Cyrille Mercier Principal Gregory Aronovich Benedetto Pollani Laura Vallejo Susanne Martens Daniel Cornford
Michelle Bruil Isabel Pereira Sarah Malcolm Miriam Eisele Helen Bevin Karin Norlen Cellos Kristina Blaumane Principal Francis Bucknall Laura Donoghue David Lale Gregory Walmsley Elisabeth Wiklander Susanna Riddell Tom Roff Sibylle Hentschel Orlando Jopling Double Basses Tim Gibbs Principal Laurence Lovelle George Peniston Richard Lewis Kenneth Knussen Helen Rowlands Margarida Castro Catherine Ricketts Flutes Emily Skala Guest Principal Sue Thomas Chair supported by the Sharp Family
Clare Robson Piccolo Katie Bicknell Alto Flute Sue Thomas Oboes Ian Hardwick Principal Rosie Staniforth Rachel Ingleton Cor Anglais Sue Böhling Principal Chair supported by Julian & Gill Simmonds
Clarinets Robert Hill* Principal Emily Meredith Douglas Mitchell E-flat Clarinet Douglas Mitchell Bass Clarinet Paul Richards Principal Contrabass Clarinet Martin Robertson Saxophones Martin Robertson Shaun Thompson Duncan Ashby Bassoons Gretha Tuls Guest Principal Gareth Newman* Connie Tanner Contrabassoon Simon Estell Principal Horns John Ryan* Principal David Pyatt* Principal
Tuba Lee Tsarmaklis* Principal Timpani Dominic Hackett Guest Principal Percussion Andrew Barclay* Principal Chair supported by Andrew Davenport
Eddy Hackett Keith Millar Sarah Mason Joe Cooper Richard Horne James Bower Harps Suzy Willison Guest Principal Lucy Haslar Piano Catherine Edwards Celeste Roderick Elms Organ Bernard Robertson
Chair supported by Simon Robey
Martin Hobbs Duncan Fuller Gareth Mollison Trumpets Paul Beniston* Principal Anne McAneney* Chair supported by Geoff & Meg Mann
Nicholas Betts Co-Principal William O’Sullivan Trombones Mark Templeton* Principal David Whitehouse Andrew Connington
Harpsichord Clíodna Shanahan Electric Guitar Nigel Woodhouse Bass Guitar Thomas Walley Assistant Conductors Eduardo Portal Gil Raveh
* Holds a professorial appointment in London
Bass Trombone Lyndon Meredith Principal
The London Philharmonic Orchestra also acknowledges the following chair supporter whose player is not present at this concert: Sonja Drexler
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Michail Jurowski conductor
Born in Moscow in 1945, Michail Jurowski is the son of composer Vladimir Jurowski and grandson of conductor David Block. His sons Vladimir and Dmitri are also internationally renowned conductors, Vladimir being the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor.
Oslo, Bergen and Dresden Philharmonic orchestras; and the Berlin Radio, São Paulo and Stavanger symphony orchestras. He also works with the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra at least twice a year.
Michail Jurowski grew up in a circle of internationally acclaimed artists of the former Soviet Union such as David Oistrakh, Mstislav Rostropovich, Leonid Kogan, Emil Gilels and Aram Khachaturian. Dmitri Shostakovich was a close family friend and he and Michail not only spoke often, but would also play four-hand piano pieces together. Such experiences had a huge influence on the young musician and it is therefore no coincidence that Michail Jurowski is today one of the leading interpreters of Shostakovich’s music. In 2012 he was awarded the third International Shostakovich Prize by the Shostakovich Gohrisch Foundation.
Tonight is Michail Jurowski’s first appearance with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. This season he also makes his debuts with the Warsaw Philharmonic and St Petersburg Philharmonic orchestras. He will conduct the Dresden Staatskapelle at the International Shostakovich Festival in Gohrisch, and the Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, Lübeck Philharmonic, Dresden Philharmonic (New Year’s concerts), Tonkünstler, Norwegian Opera, Monte-Carlo Philharmonic and New Israeli Opera orchestras, in addition to his regular guest conducting weeks at the Norrköping and Stavanger symphony orchestras and a revival of the lauded Romeo and Juliet with the Zurich Opera.
Michail Jurowski was educated at the Moscow Conservatoire, where he studied conducting under Leo Ginsburg and music science under Alexei Kandinsky. During his studies he assisted Gennady Rozhdestvensky at the National Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra of Moscow. From 1978 Michail Jurowski was a regular guest conductor at the Komische Oper Berlin, and in 1989 he left the USSR with his family and took up a permanent post at the Dresden Semperoper. Other titled positions have included General Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Northwest German Philharmonic Orchestra; Chief Conductor of Leipzig Opera; Chief Conductor of the WDR Rundfunkorchester in Cologne; and Principal Guest Conductor of the Tonkünstler Orchestra. As a guest conductor Michail Jurowski has led the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester, Staatskapelle Dresden and Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música; the
Michail Jurowski’s return to the Russian stage in 2012 generated much press interest, and he went on to conduct two televised events organised by the Russian Ministry of Culture. This season he returns to the Bolshoi Theatre to conduct another run of Prokofiev’s The Fiery Angel and will also lead the State Academic Symphony Orchestra in two programmes at the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire and at Moscow’s International House of Music.
Besides televised concerts and radio recordings in Stuttgart, Cologne, Dresden, Oslo, Norrköping, Hannover and Berlin, Jurowski has recently recorded with L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and has conducted various CD recordings including film music, Shostakovich’s opera The Gamblers, Shostakovich’s entire vocal symphonic pieces and Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera Christmas Eve, as well as orchestral works by Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Reznicek, Meyerbeer, Lehár, Kálmán, Nicolai, Rangström, Pettersen-Berger, Grieg, Svensen, Kancheli and many others. This season sees the release of his latest CD on the CPO label, featuring orchestral works by his father, Vladimir Jurowski. In 1992 and 1996 Jurowski won the German Record Critics’ Prize and in 2001 he received a Grammy nomination for three CDs of orchestral music by RimskyKorsakov with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra.
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© Uwe Arens
Praised for his rich, gorgeous tone and playing that can range from lovely and elegant, to vigorous with head-banging rock-star energy, German-Canadian cellist Johannes Moser has been hailed by Gramophone magazine as ‘one of the finest among the astonishing gallery of young virtuoso cellists’. He has performed with the world’s leading orchestras including the Berlin, New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Munich and Israel Philharmonic orchestras; the Chicago, London and Bavarian Radio symphony orchestras; The Cleveland Orchestra; and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. He works regularly with conductors including Riccardo Muti, Lorin Maazel, Mariss Jansons, Valery Gergiev, Zubin Mehta, Vladimir Jurowski, Franz Welser-Möst, Manfred Honeck, Christian Thielemann, Pierre Boulez, Paavo Järvi and Semyon Bychkov. Tonight is Johannes’s first appearance with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. This season he also makes his debuts with the Baltimore, Oregon and Houston symphony orchestras, as well as returns to the Deutsche-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Essen Philharmonic and Bournemouth Symphony orchestras. Johannes has gained a reputation for his exquisite performances and wide-ranging repertoire, much of it recorded in his extensive award-winning discography. His affinity for new music has brought him attention from leading conductors such as Pierre Boulez, who invited him to make his US debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Bernard Rands’s Cello Concerto. Johannes is an enthusiastic advocate of the electric cello, which he uses to explore new possibilities in sound, as well as for improvisation. In October 2012 he premiered Magnetar, a concerto for electric cello by Enrico Chapela, with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel. His
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relationship with the Los Angeles Philharmonic continues this season with a performance of Michel van der Aa’s concerto Up-close. Johannes is committed to reaching out to young audiences, from kindergarten to college and beyond. From his 2010 American tour with toy pianist Phyllis Chen – ‘Sounding Off: A Fresh Look at Classical Music’ – to outreach activities on campuses and performances in alternative venues, Johannes aims to present classical music in terms with which listeners of all ages can connect. A dedicated chamber musician, Johannes has performed with Joshua Bell, Emanuel Ax, Leonidas Kavakos, Menahem Pressler, James Ehnes, Jonathan Biss and Midori. He has appeared at many festivals including Verbier, Schleswig-Holstein, Gstaad, Kissinger, Colorado, Seattle and Brevard, and the Mehta Chamber Music Festival. Johannes has received two ECHO Klassik awards and the prestigious German Radio Critics’ Prize for his recordings on Hänssler Classics. His concerto debut disc, featuring the complete works of Saint-Saëns for cello and orchestra with the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, was honoured as one of Classics Today’s Top 10 CDs of 2008. Following an album of works by Britten, Bridge and Bax, a disc of Martinů, Hindemith and Honegger concertos received great acclaim and was shortlisted for the German Radio Critics’ Prize. His latest concerto album, featuring Britten’s Cello Symphony and Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1 with the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne and Pietari Inkinen, was released in January 2012. Born into a musical family in 1979 as a dual citizen of Germany and Canada, Johannes began studying the cello at the age of eight and became a student of Professor David Geringas in 1997. He was the top prizewinner at the 2002 Tchaikovsky Competition, as well as being awarded the Special Prize for his interpretation of the Rococo Variations. A voracious reader of everything from Kafka to Collins, and an avid outdoorsman, Johannes Moser is a keen hiker and mountain biker in what little spare time he has.
From behind ‘the iron curtain’ This evening’s programme consists of music from the late 1960s and early 1970s by composers from three countries of the former Soviet bloc – behind what became known in the West as ‘the iron curtain’ – who took different routes to modernism. György Ligeti escaped from Hungary in 1956 to join the west-European avant-garde; in 1967 he composed Lontano, in which drifting clouds of texture, built up through intricate canons, create a sense of distance and enchantment. Witold Lutosławski – born 100 years ago this year – was enabled by a cultural thaw in Poland to devise his own highly original musical language; this is deployed to powerful effect in his
Cello Concerto of 1968–70, an abstract narrative in which the solo instrument seemingly has to fight to establish its independence from the orchestra. Alfred Schnittke developed his radical ‘polystylistic’ approach in the teeth of disapproval and censorship by the Russian musical establishment. His First Symphony, written in 1969–72 and premiered in 1974, draws on the textures and techniques of modernism, incorporates references to music of the past and to popular music, and leaves room for improvisatory contributions by the performers, combining these various elements with theatrical surprises into a vast musical ‘happening’.
Lontano, for large orchestra
György Ligeti was one of the greatest and most original composers of the later 20th century. A native of Transylvania, a region Hungarian in culture but now part of Romania, he studied after the Second World War at the Budapest Academy of Music, where he later taught. But, finding his artistic ambitions severely restricted by the Communist regime, he escaped in 1956 to western Europe. He made his home first in Cologne, where he worked alongside Karlheinz Stockhausen at the pioneering electronic music studio, and later in Hamburg. His mature style was formed by many influences, including his Hungarian background, his studio experience, and several different strands of contemporary and folk music; but it always reflected his distinctive personality, at once humorous and visionary. Ligeti composed Lontano in 1967, in response to a commission by South West German Radio for that year’s
Donaueschingen Festival. Scored for a large orchestra but without percussion, it stands in a direct line of descent from two of his earlier works of the 1960s, the orchestral Atmosphères and the choral Lux aeterna (both used by Stanley Kubrick for the soundtrack of his film 2001 – A Space Odyssey). For most of its length, the textures of Lontano are made up of shifting, drifting clouds of sound, created by multiple statements of the same line at different speeds. (In his biography of Ligeti, Richard Steinitz has shown that these are all based on a single melodic line derived from Lux aeterna.) Three passages built up in this way are separated by two freer, more static and more sparsely scored interludes, the first beginning with held notes at the very top and bottom of the orchestra’s pitch range, the second with a cluster sustained by two cellos and bass clarinet; and in the closing stages of the piece the two characters, of drifting clouds and sparer textures, are superimposed. Continued overleaf London Philharmonic Orchestra | 9
Programme notes continued
The work’s title means ‘distant’, and is often used in orchestral scores to indicate parts played from, or sounding as if played from, offstage. Here it indicates a sense of changing perspectives within the orchestra, generated by gradations of density, variations of scoring, layers of different dynamics, and the degree of dissonance in the harmonies: entries in octaves, for example, cut through the texture like shafts of light. And the overall dynamic level is low, so that the whole piece sounds as if it is coming from a distance, before disappearing at the end beyond the limits of hearing.
Another view of Lontano … ‘Lux aeterna and its companion orchestral piece Lontano ... have the character of occult objects, or of dream landscapes in which sound becomes a tangible surface. In the opening section of Lontano, micropolyphonic lines creep upward into the very highest ranges of the orchestra, then stop at the edge of an abyss: a blistering high C gives way to an almost inaudible low D flat in the tuba and contrabassoon. In the middle section the harmony gravitates towards the key of G minor, and the orchestra plays a ghostly chorale, vaguely recalling the opening lament of Bach’s St Matthew Passion. There is a second desperate surge into the treble, followed by a second vertiginous collapse, but now the listener is led onward into a secret tonal paradise of near-resolutions and almost-cadences. Blissful Messiaen-like harmony seems within reach, but the brass push it away with a mournful, honking chord. Triads are scattered through the score in the final pages, but they are clouded and covered so that you can barely hear them. What happens at the end can almost be heard as an “Amen” cadence.’ Alex Ross, author, The Rest Is Noise southbankcentre.co.uk/therestisnoise
Cello Concerto Johannes Moser cello
Witold Lutosławski was the leading Polish composer of the second half of the 20th century. After suffering from state censorship in the early part of his career, he benefited from a later cultural thaw, which allowed him to produce a series of works for and with orchestra of striking originality and expressive force. One of the most frequently performed of these is the Cello Concerto, which he wrote between 1968 and 1970. It was commissioned by the Royal Philharmonic Society,
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which presented the first performance in this Hall in October 1970. But it was principally a response to sustained pressure for a concerto from the soloist at that premiere (and the work’s dedicatee), the great Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich. ‘I am still young as an artist,’ Lutosławski recalled Rostropovich saying, ‘and I have already played the entire cello repertoire; now I would like to play such music as I have never played before.’
The Concerto fulfilled this request in more ways than one. The solo part stretches the technique of the performer, not only along conventional lines but also in its use of glissandi (slides) and quarter-tones, usually filling in the gaps in little fragments of chromatic scales. There are some quarter-tones in the orchestral parts as well, but their chief novelty – not brand new, but a feature of Lutosławski’s works from the early 1960s – is the use of what is sometimes called ‘controlled aleatoricism’. In many sections, there are no bar-lines, and individual players play without reference to a beat or to what other players are doing; the conductor acts not as a time-beater but as a co-ordinator, giving signals to start and stop. This has nothing to do with chance procedures or improvisation, as is often assumed, but is simply a method of creating complex textures that could not be produced by any other method of notation. However, these textures, and Lutosławski’s equally original harmonic techniques, are used in the service of his innovative treatment of form, which owes little to traditional models and relies on a strong sense of abstract narrative. The soloist is cast as an individual thrown into confrontation with the might of the large orchestra – which the Soviet dissident Rostropovich saw as portraying the position of the individual in a totalitarian state, though Lutosławski was at pains to discourage such political interpretations.
In a letter to Rostropovich, subsequently made public, the composer summed up the work as in four movements, played without a break: introduction, four episodes, cantilena and finale (though these titles do not appear anywhere in the score). The ‘introduction’ is an extended solo cadenza, beginning with repeated Ds marked ‘indifferent’, breaking away from them in excursions of contrasting character, but always returning to them. The ‘four episodes’ are a series of dialogues between the soloist and different groups of instruments within the orchestra: these are mostly collaborative in tone, but the four episodes are framed and separated by raucous challenges from trumpets or trombones, or both, which are met by the soloist with a return to his former indifference or with silence. The ‘cantilena’ is a lyrical interlude in which the soloist asserts his identity in a singing line, inflected by grace-notes, against a background of solo strings, and later of larger orchestral groups. At the end of this movement, the soloist sweeps up all the orchestral strings into his melodic line as it makes a gradual acceleration, only to run into a wall of orchestral sound, led by the brass. This is the start of the ‘finale’, in which the soloist attempts to respond to this new challenge with defiant interjections and a hectic episode suggesting a chase scene. The orchestra appears to prevail, leaving the cello playing a series of lamenting wails. But in a short Presto coda, the solo instrument rises unchallenged from its lowest register to its highest, finally sounding a series of repeated high As, its initial indifference now transformed into triumph.
Interval – 20 minutes An announcement will be made five minutes before the end of the interval.
New for 2013/14 – LPO mini film guides This season we’ve produced a series of short films introducing the pieces we’re performing. We’ve picked one work from each concert and created a bite-sized introduction to the music and its historical background. Watch our Education & Community Director Patrick Bailey introduce Lutosławski’s Cello Concerto: lpo.org.uk/explore/videos.html
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Programme notes continued
Alfred Schnittke 1934–98
‘The death of Shostakovich, in 1975, left a temporary void at the heart of Russian music, but a new cohort of composers quickly filled it. Born around the same time as the American minimalists and the French spectralists, the last major Soviet generation radiated a disruptive, nonconformist energy, openly defiant of official direction where their predecessors had been accommodating or ambivalent … Schnittke, a man of haunted, sallow visage, Russian-Jewish and Volga German in origin, was Shostakovich’s heir apparent. A master ironist, he developed a language that he called ‘polystylistics’, gathering up in a troubled stream of consciousness the detritus of a millennium of music: mediaeval chant, Renaissance mass, Baroque figuration, Classical sonata principle, Viennese waltz, Mahlerian orchestration, twelve-tone writing, aleatory chaos, and touches of modern pop. Schnittke told a friend: “I set down a beautiful chord on paper – and suddenly it rusts.’’’ Alex Ross, author, The Rest Is Noise southbankcentre.co.uk/therestisnoise
Alfred Schnittke, born of German-Jewish origins in the Volga German Republic of the USSR, was the leading composer in Russia from the generation after Shostakovich. Having fallen foul of the Soviet authorities with his modernist early works, he made a living for some years composing music for films. The flexibility of approach required for this task prompted him to develop a musical philosophy that he called ‘polystylism’, 12 | London Philharmonic Orchestra
Symphony No. 1 Laurence Jackson violin Catherine Edwards piano 1 Senza tempo – Moderato – Allegro – Andante 2 Allegretto – 3 Lento – 4 Lento
according to which elements of music of the past and the present, and especially of ‘art music’ and popular music, were able to co-exist on equal terms within a work. In fact, it was while Schnittke was working on the score for Mikhail Romm’s documentary The World Today, a panoramic survey of the 20th century (released posthumously as And still I believe), that he conceived the idea for his all-embracing First Symphony, which he composed between 1969 and 1972. The work was allowed a first performance in 1974 in Gorky (now Nizhny Novgorod), which was not only safely remote from Moscow and Leningrad but was also a ‘closed city’, off-limits to foreign journalists. The premiere was conducted by Gennady Rozhdestvensky, who later proved a devoted advocate of the score, conducting performances abroad (including a memorable one in this Hall in 1986) and two recordings. Later in the composer’s career, the Symphony – the first of nine, though like Bruckner Schnittke also composed a preparatory ‘No. 0’ and left his Ninth unfinished – played an important part in establishing his reputation both in Russia, where performances of his music acquired cult status, and in the international arena. The Symphony is scored for huge forces, including three saxophones, two electric guitars and not only piano and celeste but also harpsichord and organ; and it lasts – depending on what optional cuts and improvisatory alternatives the conductor chooses to adopt – somewhere over an hour. The score is something of a blueprint: alongside dense, precisely notated passages, reminiscent of Ligeti, it includes many episodes to be improvised on the basis of graphic notation, of the kind devised in the 1960s by Krzysztof Penderecki, and some ‘windows’ for free improvisation; it also contains instructions for entrances and exits, which give the work a theatrical feeling.
The first movement begins on a nearly empty platform, with a wild jangling of tubular bells; the other players gradually enter, most of them improvising ‘warm-ups’ on the way. Once assembled, the orchestra proclaims an octave C followed by a tight 12-note cluster and a Ligeti-like descending cloud, hints at ragtime and later a chorale, and defines a wide harmonic range from extreme chromaticism to major triads. It proceeds to explore a further range of textures and scorings, from hyperactive free-for-all to static harmonies with pointillist interjections, and from nearly full orchestra in overlaid rhythmic patterns to free-time solo trombone. Eventually, the promise of the earlier collective C is fulfilled in a C major Beethoven quotation, which quickly crumbles to dust; and, with a lulling trumpet solo and snoring trombones, the movement finally comes to rest. The remaining three movements are played without a break. The second begins as a rondo on a bright major-key tune, which sounds like a piece of ‘lift music’ pastiching more than one 18th-century style. This soon comes under attack by fragments of waltz, march and tango, and its later returns are drowned out by the wind section and an insistent drummer. The sense of a contest is carried on into a collective cadenza for multiple soloists playing shuffled fragments, after which a space is left for an improvisation or interpolation by solo violin and piano (tonight an excerpt from Schnittke’s First Sonata). At the end, over a pounding tom-tom, the first flute plays Pied Piper in leading the whole wind section off the platform. That leaves in place the strings, together with the keyboards, guitar and percussion. The latter group adds little cadenzas as the strings gradually build up intensity, in a series of rising waves of staggered solo entries, towards a central climax, then retreat. The climactic chord is reinforced by the wind, asserting their continuing presence offstage; and towards the end, the offstage brass insert quiet chords into gaps in the string texture, before the strings finally coalesce on a unison E. This is the signal for the wind to return to the platform, led by the brass, who play a Mahlerian funeral march, augmented by appropriate quotations of Chopin’s ‘Funeral March’ Sonata and Grieg’s ‘The Death of Åse’. Piano and strings contribute the first theme of Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto and a Strauss waltz
tune to a crowded Ivesian collage, which soon melts into a cadenza of free-time wind lines over wild string gestures. What follows in this long movement is a series of disparate episodes, all apparently in search of a way to carry the musical argument forward. The funeral chant Dies irae intermittently comes to the fore; there are two passages of pure white-note modal polyphony on the strings; there is a jazz episode, with improvising soloists, followed by a grim quick march; the solemn organ joins in for the first time. After a grand Straussian sunrise, capped by a Mahlerian brass chorale and followed by a sustained aftermath, fragments of previous movements rotate in the air. Then the orchestra disperses, sustaining a dense chord, while a solo violin plays a reminder of an earlier orchestral departure, the closing bars of Haydn’s ‘Farewell’ Symphony. The stage is set, or rather un-set, for a reprise of the opening of the first movement – this time with a surprise ending that brings temporary order out of anarchic chaos. Programme notes by Anthony Burton © 2013
Next London Philharmonic Orchestra concert at Royal Festival Hall Saturday 2 November 2013 | 7.30pm Messiaen Des canyons aux étoiles Christoph Eschenbach conductor Tzimon Barto piano John Ryan horn Andrew Barclay & Erika Öhman percussion
Booking details Tickets £9–£39 (premium seats £65) London Philharmonic Orchestra Ticket Office 020 7840 4242 Monday–Friday 10.00am–5.00pm lpo.org.uk Transaction fees: £1.75 online, £2.75 telephone
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Catalyst: Double Your Donation
The London Philharmonic Orchestra is building its first ever endowment fund, which will support the most exciting artistic collaborations with its partner venues here in London and around the country. Thanks to a generous grant pledge from Arts Council England’s Catalyst programme, the Orchestra is able to double the value of all gifts from new donors up to a maximum value of £1 million. Any additional gifts from existing generous donors will also be matched. By the end of the campaign we aim to have created an endowment with a value of £2 million which will help us work with partners to provide a funding injection for activities across the many areas of the Orchestra’s work, including: • More visionary artistic projects like The Rest Is Noise at Southbank Centre • Educational and outreach activities for young Londoners like this year’s Noye’s Fludde performance project • Increased touring to venues around the UK that might not otherwise have access to great orchestral music To give, call Development Director Nick Jackman on 020 7840 4211, email email@example.com or visit www.lpo.org.uk/support/double-your-donation.html
Catalyst Endowment Donors Masur Circle Arts Council England Emmanuel & Barrie Roman The Sharp Family The Underwood Trust Welser-Möst Circle John Ireland Charitable Trust Tennstedt Circle Simon Robey The late Mr K Twyman Solti Patrons Anonymous Suzanne Goodman The Rothschild Foundation Haitink Patrons Moya Greene Tony and Susie Hayes Lady Roslyn Marion Lyons Diana and Allan Morgenthau Charitable Trust Sir Bernard Rix TFS Loans Limited The Tsukanov Family Foundation Guy & Utti Whittaker Manon Williams
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Pritchard Donors Anonymous Lady Jane Berrill Linda Blackstone Michael Blackstone Jan Bonduelle Richard Brass Britten-Pears Foundation Lady June Chichester Lindka Cierach Mr Alistair Corbett Mark Damazer David Dennis Bill & Lisa Dodd Mr David Edgecombe David Ellen Mr Daniel Goldstein Ffion Hague Rebecca Halford Harrison Michael & Christine Henry Honeymead Arts Trust John Hunter Ivan Hurry Tanya Kornilova Howard & Marilyn Levene Mr Gerald Levin Geoff & Meg Mann
Ulrike Mansel Marsh Christian Trust John Montgomery Rosemary Morgan John Owen Edmund Pirouet Mr Michael Posen John Priestland Ruth Rattenbury Tim Slorick Howard Snell Stanley Stecker Lady Marina Vaizey Helen Walker Laurence Watt Des & Maggie Whitelock Victoria Yanakova Mr Anthony Yolland
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 Simon Robey The Sharp Family Julian & Gill Simmonds Garf & Gill Collins Andrew Davenport Mrs Sonja Drexler David & Victoria Graham Fuller John & Angela Kessler Mr & Mrs Makharinsky Geoff & Meg Mann Caroline, Jamie & Zander Sharp Eric Tomsett Guy & Utti Whittaker Manon Williams & John Antoniazzi Principal Benefactors Mark & Elizabeth Adams Jane Attias Lady Jane Berrill Desmond & Ruth Cecil Mr John H Cook David Ellen
Commander Vincent Evans Mr Daniel Goldstein Don Kelly & Ann Wood 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 Howard & Sheelagh Watson Mr Anthony Yolland Benefactors Mrs A Beare Mrs Alan Carrington Mr & Mrs Stewart Cohen Mr Alistair Corbett William and Alex de Winton Mr David Edgecombe Mr Richard Fernyhough Ken Follett Michael & Christine Henry Malcolm Herring Ivan Hurry Mr Glenn Hurstfield
Mr R K Jeha Mr Gerald Levin Sheila Ashley Lewis Wg. Cdr. & Mrs M T Liddiard OBE JP RAF Mr Frank Lim Paul & Brigitta Lock Mr Brian Marsh Andrew T Mills John Montgomery Mr & Mrs Andrew Neill Edmund Pirouet Professor John Studd Mr Peter Tausig Mrs Kazue Turner Mr Laurie Watt Des & Maggie Whitelock Christopher Williams Bill Yoe Hon. Benefactor Elliott Bernerd Hon. Life Members Kenneth Goode Carol Colburn Grigor CBE Pehr G Gyllenhammar Edmund Pirouet Mrs Jackie Rosenfeld OBE
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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 Dr Manon Williams * Player-Director Advisory Council Victoria Sharp Chairman Christopher Aldren Richard Brass Sir Alan Collins KCVO CMG Lord David Curry 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 Martin Southgate Sir Philip Thomas 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 Peter M. Felix CBE 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
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