Concert Season 08/09 City Halls â€“ Glasgow Tickets 0141 353 8000 www.sco.org.uk
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Concert Season City Halls – Glasgow 08/09 “There is not a band in the land that can hold a candle to the SCO... they are a wonderful band, world-class” The Herald How to buy tickets? See page 22, call
0141 353 8000 with your credit or debit card details.
Welcome Welcome to a feast of great music in the Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s 2008/09 Glasgow Season. Twenty-three concerts, including visits from some of the Orchestra’s most popular guest conductors and soloists, offer an outstanding line-up and a wonderful variety of music. During the Season, we celebrate Mendelssohn in the 200th anniversary of his birth, welcome back the venerable Sir Charles Mackerras, collaborate with the great Indian sarod player Amjad Ali Khan, premiere new works and return to many favourites. The splendid acoustics and surroundings of the City Halls perfectly complement the sound and size of the SCO – the impact and immediacy of the full, virtuoso forces of the Orchestra are evident and you can enjoy, too, the intimacy and involvement unique to a chamber orchestra. It creates a truly dynamic relationship between the musicians and the audience – there’s nothing quite like it! If you’ve heard the SCO before, welcome back! If it’s your first time, we hope it will become a habit.
Scottish Chamber Orchestra HRH The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay Patron Conductor Laureate Sir Charles Mackerras ch ac cbe Olari Elts Principal Guest Conductor Joseph Swensen Conductor Emeritus Sir Peter Maxwell Davies Composer Laureate Christopher George Leader Chairman Donald MacDonald cbe Roy McEwan Managing Director
Roy McEwan Managing Director Scottish Chamber Orchestra 4 Royal Terrace, Edinburgh EH7 5AB Tel: 0131 557 6800 Fax: 0131 557 6933 E: email@example.com W: www.sco.org.uk A charity registered in Scotland No. SC015039
Photo: Paul Hampton
Please note that all timings (shown in brackets) are approximate and do not include intervals or platform changes.
Enjoy more music – spend less! Book an SCO Subscription See page 23 for details of how to save. You can include any of the concerts marked Season 08/09 within your Subscription – just look out for the 08/09 symbol.
Olari Elts, the Orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor, leads four very different programmes during the Season, from Adventurer concert to the stirring choral Season finale. See pages 7, 10, 13 and 21.
Take a musical journey – four Adventurer concerts offer intriguing programmes featuring works by some of today’s finest composers, including premieres by Karin Rehnqvist, Thea Musgrave, Joseph Swensen and Haflidi Hallgrímsson. See pages 7, 11, 18 and 20.
“Elts drove the symphony home like a dizzy rush of adrenalin”
Mendelssohn 200 In January and February, the SCO celebrates the bicentenary of the composer’s birth. See pages 12-15.
The Scotsman ©Toomas Volkmann
Brilliant young Macedonian pianist Simon Trpcˇ eski – still only in his 20s yet acclaimed worldwide – gets the Season off to a thrilling start with Beethoven’s mighty ‘Emperor’ concerto. See page 6.
Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin is indisputably one of today’s rising stars, and he’s back with the SCO for two concert weeks this Season following his sensational debut in April ’07. See pages 14-15.
“Expressive, communicative, exact and eager” Trouw, The Netherlands ©Jillian Edelstein, EMI Classics
Amjad Ali Khan
Eastern Promise: Amjad Ali Khan is a musical legend – a sixth-generation sarod player, his fame extends around the globe. Over recent months, he has been working with the players of the SCO LAB and conductor David Murphy. Together, they have created Samagam, a concerto for sarod, concertante group and chamber orchestra – a harmonic marriage of musical traditions. See page 9.
If choral music’s for you, enjoy the SCO Chorus performing a world premiere from the superb Swedish composer Karin Rehnqvist, Alexander’s Feast by Handel, Mendelssohn’s Elijah and the Closing Concert, Haydn’s The Seasons. See pages 7, 10, 15 and 21.
Maestro Mackerras Following the huge success of the SCO/ Linn Records release of Mozart’s last four symphonies, the Orchestra’s ever-popular Conductor Laureate is back with more Mozart. See page 8.
Enjoy a more musical life – book an SCO Subscription As well as substantial discounts on regular ticket prices, you can enjoy priority booking, special events and many other exclusive benefits. See page 23.
Adventurer – Elegies Friday 17 October 7.30pm Dean Takemitsu Takemitsu Rehnqvist
Pastoral Symphony Scottish premiere (17’) Tree Line (12’) Requiem (7’) New Work World premiere (35’) SCO co-commission with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra, with funding from the Scottish Government
A festive opening to the Season is assured as John Storgårds directs Schumann’s joyous symphony alongside Beethoven’s magisterial ‘Emperor’ concerto. The sheer grand sweep of the piece makes it a natural for Simon Trpcˇeski. A commanding and charismatic presence onstage, he is amongst the world’s finest pianists. John Storgårds conductor
Friday 10 October 7.30pm Beethoven Beethoven Schumann
Overture, Consecration of the House (12’) Piano Concerto No 5 ‘Emperor’ (38’) Symphony No 3 ‘Rhenish’ (32’)
John Storgårds conductor Simon Trpcˇeski piano Tickets £11 - £24 (concessions available) 06
Mørk plays CPE Bach Friday 24 October 7.30pm
Olari Elts conductor Helena Ek soprano Maria Keohane soprano SCO Chorus
Haydn CPE Bach Beethoven
Spiritual depth and brooding drama mark Karin Rehnqvist’s music. Her new work is a kind of requiem, though reflecting hope and consolation as much as the darker aspects of loss. It is matched with elegiac miniatures by the great Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu and Australian Brett Dean’s own moving requiem for a changing world; music inspired by Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony and filled with birdsong.
Eivind Aadland conductor Truls Mørk cello
Pre-concert talk: 6.30pm (free to ticket holders) Karin Rehnqvist talks to Svend Brown about her new work. Tickets £12 – Senior Citizens £9 – Students/Children £5 Olari Elts conductor
Symphony No 102 (24’) Cello Concerto No 1 in A minor (21’) Symphony No 1 (26’)
In the next two weeks the SCO takes you from the dawn of the Classical era to the birth of Romanticism. CPE Bach’s lovely cello concertos date from the 1750s, with all the well-sprung rhythm and grace of their age. Truls Mørk makes a welcome return to play the First Concerto (and performs the Second in Edinburgh and St Andrews earlier in the week). The two symphonies in the programme are almost exactly contemporary, and also share a penchant for musical jokes. Tickets £11 - £24 (concessions available) Truls Mørk cello
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Paris in Music Friday 14 November 7.30pm Fauré Ravel Stravinsky
Masques et Bergamasques (14’) Piano Concerto in G major (23’) Pulcinella (37’)
Thierry Fischer conductor Sergio Tiempo piano Martene Grimson soprano James Gilchrist tenor Roderick Williams baritone
Mackerras and Pizarro Friday 31 October 7.30pm Sponsored by Clyde & Forth Press Mozart Beethoven Mozart
Symphony No 31 ‘Paris’ (20’) Piano Concerto No 4 (34’) Symphony No 36 ‘Linz’ (26’)
Sir Charles Mackerras conductor Artur Pizarro piano ‘Mackerras, Mozart and Beethoven’ is a phrase designed to fill any music-lover’s heart with joy – add ‘Pizarro’ and you have an exceptional treat. If you’re inclined to city-hop you can also catch them performing Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto in Perth on 30 October, prior to recording both works. Rounding off the programme, Mackerras and the SCO continue their critically acclaimed journey through the later symphonies of Mozart.
These three works capture the spirit of Paris between the wars – the jazz age was in full swing, but wistful nostalgia was also in the air. Fauré and Stravinsky look back to the 18th century and offer very different interpretations of the Commedia dell’Arte. Fauré is all moonlit enchantment, while Stravinsky goes for laughs, and isn’t above blowing a raspberry to get them. Ravel’s concerto simply glitters: a virtuosic tour de force. All in all, a fine entertainment from start to finish. Tickets £11 - £24 (concessions available) Sergio Tiempo piano
East Meets West
Amjad Ali Khan Amjad Ali Khan is a musical superstar worldwide. His name is synonymous with the sarod, the lyrical stringed instrument of which he is a master. It has a beautiful tone akin to the human voice. Each year Khan’s global audience runs to millions. As well as composing and performing, he is something of a musical ambassador: he and conductor David Murphy have been working with members of the SCO to find a common language between East and West – and this new piece is the fruit.
Friday 21 November 7.30pm Mozart Beethoven Amjad Ali Khan
Overture, Idomeneo (5’) Symphony No 8 (26’) Samagam: a concerto for sarod, concertante group and chamber orchestra (40’) [realised by David Murphy]
David Murphy conductor Amjad Ali Khan sarod SCO LAB Pre-concert talk: 6.30pm (free to ticket holders) David Murphy and players from the SCO LAB explore Beethoven and Indian rhythms. Tickets £11 - £24 (concessions available)
Tickets £11 - £24 (concessions available) Sir Charles Mackerras conductor
Amjad Ali Khan sarod
David Murphy conductor
How to buy tickets? See page 22, call
0141 353 8000 with your credit or debit card details.
Alexander’s Feast Alexander’s Feast (100’)
Richard Egarr conductor/harpsichord Lucy Crowe soprano Timothy Robinson tenor Christopher Purves bass baritone SCO Chorus “Magnificent”, “Splendid”, “Majestic” – so Handel’s contemporaries described his oratorio, not least because, for once, the words – by John Dryden – are the equal of his wonderful music. 270 years later it continues to delight. Richard Egarr, a hit with SCO audiences and players alike, returns to direct. Tickets £11 - £24 (concessions available)
Enjoy a good chat about music? Want to share your opinions? Adventurous Discussions are informal and in-depth sessions. They offer the chance not only to learn more about a piece of music before you hear it, but also the opportunity to reflect on the concert and discuss it the following week. For more information or to book your place for the Points of View discussion, call SCO Education on 0131 478 8355 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday 28 November 7.30pm Handel
Adventurous Discussion 12 and 19 December
Adventurer – Points of View Friday 12 December 7.30pm
Faust plays Dvorˇák Friday 5 December 7.30pm Cherubini Dvorˇák Dvorˇák Weber
Overture, Medea (9’) Violin Concerto (32’) Legends (15’) Symphony No 1 (25’)
Concerto Grosso in G Op 6 No 1 (12’) Points of View Scottish premiere (13’) SCO co-commission with Manchester Camerata, with funding from the Scottish Government
Violin Concerto Scottish premiere (27’) Symphony No 35 ‘Haffner’ (18’)
Olari Elts conductor Isabelle Faust violin
Nicholas Kraemer conductor/harpsichord Jack Liebeck violin
A dramatic programme! Cherubini’s Medea was admired by Beethoven, and the overture is a cracker. Dvorˇák’s Legends tell no single story – instead they evoke the heroic, humorous, earthy and tragic aspects of myths and legends generally and, like the Violin Concerto, are steeped in the folk music of Dvorˇák’s native Bohemia. Weber ultimately found fame as an opera composer – and this early symphony shows exactly why. It is full of atmospheric colour and dramatic gestures to catch the ear.
Meet her in person and it is hard to believe Thea Musgrave is celebrating her 80th birthday. What better way to mark it than with a new work? Points of View is her concerto for orchestra, giving individuals within the SCO a chance to shine as soloists. Lindberg’s Violin Concerto is one of the most talked-about new works of recent years. It is paired with Mozart’s symphony because it was written for the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York with the express condition that it use exactly the same orchestral forces Mozart once did – and in this concert you’ll hear just how different they can sound.
Tickets £11 - £24 (concessions available) Isabelle Faust violin
Pre-concert talk: 6.30pm (free to ticket holders) Thea Musgrave talks to Svend Brown.
The Legend of Prometheus Friday 19 December 7.30pm Beethoven Beethoven
The Creatures of Prometheus Op 43 (48’) Symphony No 2 (32’)
Frans Brüggen conductor Compared with Haydn, Schubert and Mozart, Beethoven was quite a late starter at writing symphonies – he waited until he was into his 30s. Before then he honed his skills on concertos, cantatas and theatre music. The Prometheus ballet is as charming as it is substantial – containing all kinds of intriguing pointers to the future, not least the first appearance of a tune that later became famous in the ‘Eroica’ Symphony. Tickets £11 - £24 (concessions available) Frans Brüggen conductor
Tickets £12 – Senior Citizens £9 – Students/Children £5 ©Alvaro Yanez
Summer Nights in Wintertime Friday 16 January 7.30pm
2009 is Mendelssohn Year – the bicentenary of his birth. The SCO celebrates throughout January and February with symphonic, oratorio, theatre and chamber music. It is a veritable parade of masterworks made all the more remarkable considering his tragically short life. Mendelssohn’s music is heard in the company of composers who inspired him and those he himself inspired.
The Fair Melusine Friday 9 January 7.30pm Mendelssohn Mozart Schubert
The Fair Melusine (10’) Piano Concerto in D K595 (32’) Symphony No 4 in C minor ‘Tragic’ (31’)
Andrew Manze conductor Paul Lewis piano
Mendelssohn Berlioz Ravel Saint-Saëns
Overture, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (12’) Les Nuits d’Été (31’) Pavane pour une infante défunte (6’) Symphony in A major (25’)
Olari Elts conductor Kate Royal soprano
As Mendelssohn died before starting his first mature opera, The Tempest, we will never really know what we missed – but his many concert overtures give us an inkling. The Water Spirit, Melusine, is evoked in suitably mellifluous music. Paul Lewis playing Mozart is always a not-to-be-missed pleasure; and popular guest conductor Andrew Manze closes with Schubert’s rather jolly ‘Tragic’ Symphony.
Kate Royal has truly arrived as a new star of classical music: she’s as glamorous as she is talented, with a dramatic flair to match her voluptuous tone. Berlioz’s ultra-Romantic song cycle is an ideal vehicle for her. It is surrounded by masterworks linked to Berlioz either by affinity – he deeply admired Mendelssohn’s Shakespearean overture – or nationality. Saint-Saëns links the whole programme: he lived so long that he managed to be contemporary with all three other composers.
Tickets £11 - £24 (concessions available)
Tickets £11 - £24 (concessions available)
Paul Lewis piano
Kate Royal soprano
©Harmonia Mundi/ Eric Marias
Mendelssohn & Italy Friday 27 February 7.30pm Schubert Respighi Respighi Mendelssohn
Elijah Friday 30 January 7.30pm Mendelssohn Elijah (131’) Sung in English
”the genuine article… the self-confidence and virtuosity that speaks of a maestro in the making.” The Guardian
Mendelssohn’s ‘Reformation’ Friday 23 January 7.30pm Schumann Schumann Mendelssohn
Overture, Manfred (11’) Piano Concerto (31’) Symphony No 5 ‘Reformation’ (27’)
Yannick Nézet-Séguin conductor Nicholas Angelich piano Nézet-Séguin enjoyed huge success when he last appeared with the SCO – and since then his career has gone stratospheric. Now, with major appointments on both sides of the Atlantic, he’s in great demand and the SCO has been deft enough to secure him for two weeks this Season. He continues the Mendelssohn theme with the uplifting ‘Reformation’ Symphony. Pre-concert talk: 6.30pm (free to ticket holders) Mendelssohn 200: Dr Fiona Elliott gives a cultural perspective of Mendelssohn and his time.
Yannick Nézet-Séguin conductor Lucy Crowe soprano Karen Cargill mezzo soprano Mark Padmore tenor Jonathan Lemalu bass baritone SCO Chorus Mendelssohn’s Old Testament epic is both a thunderous, choral spectacular and an intimate drama. The brooding figure of Elijah dominates the scene, a complex role that demands a big voice and big personality. He is sung here by the charismatic Jonathan Lemalu, supported by an outstanding cast, including award-winning tenor Mark Padmore.
Overture in C ‘In the Italian Style’ (7’) Il Tramonto (17’) Ancient Airs and Dances: Suite III (19’) Symphony No 4 ‘Italian’ (27’)
Maurizio Benini conductor Maria Luigia Borsi soprano Italian night at the SCO. Well almost… Schubert got no closer to Italy than listening to Rossini, but he liked what he heard and wrote this overture in imitation. He struck gold and, in his own lifetime, it was one of his most popular works. Respighi’s languorous evocation of sunset is as ravishing as his Renaissance dances are entertaining. Mendelssohn – who loved Italy almost as much as he loved Scotland – rounds off the evening with a dance. Tickets £11 - £24 (concessions available) Maria Luigia Borsi soprano
Tickets £11 - £24 (concessions available) Jonathan Lemalu bass baritone
Tickets £11 - £24 (concessions available) 14
Want to know more? Visit www.sco.org.uk to find out the latest SCO news, download programme notes, buy CDs and much more.
Dramatic Beethoven Friday 13 March 7.30pm Beethoven Tchaikovsky Beethoven
Overture, Egmont (9’) Violin Concerto (33’) Symphony No 7 (36’)
Louis Langrée conductor James Ehnes violin
Bach & Mozart with Anderszewski Anderszewski’s choice of solo concertos shows just how much music can change in 60 years. Bach’s piece could have been heard with one of his sons at the keyboard in the 1730s; Mozart’s K451 belongs to 1784 – the year when he made his name in Vienna with masterpiece after masterpiece, most of them designed to showcase his own considerable skills at the piano.
A stirring programme from Louis Langrée. Egmont makes a tempestuous start, and the blazing energy and drive of Beethoven’s symphony closes the concert. Tchaikovsky’s utterly Romantic concerto brings to mind the world of his great ballets – especially Swan Lake. It’s performed by James Ehnes, one of today’s great violinists and winner of a 2008 Grammy for his recent outstanding concertos CD.
Friday 20 March 7.30pm JC Bach Bach Mozart Mozart
Tickets £11 - £24 (concessions available) Louis Langrée conductor
Overture, Lucio Silla* (11’) Keyboard Concerto in D minor BWV 1052 (24’) Divertimento in E-flat K113* (11’) Piano Concerto in D K451 (25’)
Piotr Anderszewski piano/director Christopher George director* ©Ana Bloom
Tickets £11 - £24 (concessions available) 17
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Symphonies in C Friday 10 April 7.30pm
Adventurer – The Fire and the Rose Friday 3 April 7.30pm Respighi Sibelius Swensen
The Birds (19’) Pelléas and Mélisande (29’) Symphony for horn and orchestra ‘The Fire and the Rose’ World premiere (40’)
Joseph Swensen conductor Radovan Vlatkovi´c horn Joseph Swensen makes a welcome return to Scotland, not only as conductor but also as composer. With his new symphony, featuring the wonderful horn player Radovan Vlatkovi´c, he joins a distinguished line of musicians to be inspired by T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets and, specifically, by the powerful closing lines of Little Gidding – a mystical yearning for completeness. Sibelius’ melancholy score for Pelléas and Mélisande neatly contrasts with Respighi’s orchestral showpiece in the first half. Pre-concert talk: 6.30pm (free to ticket holders) Joseph Swensen talks about The Fire and the Rose. Tickets £12 – Senior Citizens £9 – Students/Children £5 18
Stravinsky Britten Bizet
Symphony in C (28’) Les Illuminations (21’) Symphony in C (27’)
and the Maiden
Andrew Litton conductor Sally Matthews soprano Both Bizet and Stravinsky looked to the Classical era for inspiration in their Symphonies in C, but a more different pair you could not find. There’s hardly a cloud in the sky for Bizet, while Stravinsky – an older, sadder man – offers a more ambiguous outlook. Britten’s sexy, flamboyant showcase of a song cycle rounds off the programme, sung by the glorious Sally Matthews. Tickets £11 - £24 (concessions available) Sally Matthews soprano
‘Death and the Maiden’ is a heartstopping experience in its original quartet version. Mahler’s late-Romantic arrangement for orchestral strings paints all the colours deeper, and emphasises the jagged edges, the stormy drama and deep sorrows of the piece. It is balanced here by Schumann in relatively Classical mode in his Violin Concerto – and an ebullient, barnstorming opener.
Friday 24 April 7.30pm Schumann Overture, Scherzo & Finale (17’) Schumann Violin Concerto (31’) Schubert Quartet in D minor 'Death and the Maiden' (40’) [arr. Mahler] Joseph Swensen conductor Ilya Gringolts violin Tickets £11 - £24 (concessions available) Joseph Swensen conductor
Just the ticket: Tickets from just £11 – £8.50 for senior citizens. See page 22 for all prices.
Adventurer – Bass Notes Friday 8 May 7.30pm
SCO co-commission with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra, with funding from the Scottish Government
Friday 1 May 7.30pm Stravinsky Haydn Weber Ravel
Danses Concertantes (20’) Sinfonia Concertante in B-flat (22’) Konzertstück in F minor Op 79 (18’) Le Tombeau de Couperin (17’)
Christian Zacharias piano/conductor Robin Williams oboe Christopher George violin David Watkin cello Over the past eight years Zacharias’ relationship with the SCO has matured into something to be cherished. Their mutual ease and understanding imbues their performances with the quality of chamber music – no matter how many musicians are on stage. Zacharias takes the dual role of soloist/director in the Weber and conducts works by Haydn, Ravel and Stravinsky. Tickets £11 - £24 (concessions available) Christian Zacharias piano/conductor
Dances of Galanta (15’) Concerto Op 42 'Sonnambulo' for double bass & orchestra World premiere (20’)
Music for Strings, Percussion & Celeste (27’)
Baldur Brönnimann conductor Nicholas Bayley double bass A programme as spectacular as it is thoughtprovoking – Hungarians Bartók and Kodály shared a passion for their native folk music and drew inspiration from it. Kodály’s brilliant dances hark back to Gypsy bands of the early 19th century, while Bartók is altogether more urban in outlook. The big event of the night is the new concerto by Icelandic composer, Haflidi Hallgrímsson, composed for the SCO’s Principal Bass Nicholas Bayley. Pre-concert talk: 6.30pm (free to ticket holders) Haflidi Hallgrímsson talks about his new concerto. Tickets £12 – Senior Citizens £9 – Students/Children £5
From start to finish, Haydn’s oratorio communicates an infectious delight in the world. The Seasons is a natural sequel to The Creation, a celebration of daily life and the passing of the seasons. Haydn brings it all vividly to life like a master painter, from the storms of winter to the thrill of the chase or the bucolic delights of the wine harvest. It is as fresh as if it was written yesterday, and the SCO is joined by a magnificent line-up of soloists for this special occasion to close the Season.
Friday 15 May 7.30pm Haydn
Die Jahreszeiten (The Seasons) (134’) Sung in German
Olari Elts conductor Elizabeth Watts soprano John Mark Ainsley tenor Roderick Williams baritone SCO Chorus Tickets £11 - £24 (concessions available)
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0141 353 8000
City Halls Candleriggs, Glasgow G1 1NQ
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