Thursday, 20 January 2011

Barbican 2011-12 Orchestral

The complete Barbican 2011-12 season is available for priority booking from 24th January, but many very good things can be booked now. Some will sell out in a flash, so get a list ready to go asap.

Absolute top of my list will be Riccardo Chailly's Beethoven Symphony series with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra.  Chailly and the Leipzigers were made for each other, a match that's transformed them both.  Symphonies 2 and 5 on 25th October, Symphonies 1 and  7 on 26th October. Then on November 1 and 2, symphonies 8,3,6 and 4.  And on 3 November the glorious 9th Symphony. When Chailly and the Gewandhaus did Beethoven 9 on 1/1/2008 it was a fantastic experience, even though they'd jetted in overnight from having played it the night before in Liepzig. They should have been the ones to be shattered. Instead they shattered us with their passionate, animated performance.

If that's not enough, John Eliot Gardiner's conducting Beethoven 1 and 9 on 15th December. And then Nikolaus Harnoncourt conducts the Missa Solemnis with the Royal Concertgebouw on 22 April 2012. Get out a mortgage if you must, all these Beethoven concerts will be special.

Lots more Beethoven at the Barbican of similar stature - Mitsuko Uchida (Piano concerto no 3) on 2nd and 4th October. Elisabeth Leonskaja at LSO St Lukes on 10th Nov plus Evgeny Kissin  (2nd March), Martha Argerich (24/3)  and Murray Perahia (26/2/12). Lots of other pianists like Nicholas Angelich,, Barry Douglas, Shai Wosner and Llyr Williams. Some of these will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3, but there's nothing like being there live.

From February 16th to  18th, Alan Gilbert brings the New York Philharmonic to London for four sure-fire hit concerts - Mahler, Lang Lang, etc. When Gilbert got the New York job, I thought "YAY!!!" as did many of my friends, who've confirmed he was a good choice. He's eager, charismatic and not afraid of the 20th century.

Starting 28th October, a Sibelius series. Sakari Oramo and his wife Anu Komsi present Sibelius 3, Luonnotar and a premiere of Lindberg's Eino Leino Songs. Jukka-Pekka Saraste brings Sibelius 6 and 7 on 16th December, and also a Kurtag premiere with Hiromi Kikuchi, Kurtag's close associate.  David Robertson, too, whose Sibelius is usually very strong. His Proms Sibelius 2 was under par because they'd spernt all their reherasal time on Turnage's Hammered Out and though they could do Sibelius on auto pilot, but too much Turnage ruined the mood. But the really unusual programme is the one Neemi Jarvi's doing on 13/4/12  - Sibelius 2, plus Einar Englund (1916-1999) and Erkki-Sven Tüür (b 1959) and Balys Davarionas.(1904-72). This will be an important concert because Jarvi brings together key Finnish and Estonian composers all of whem the conductor knows well. Red letter this one.

Another interesting concert in May 2012 will feature the "Sibelius Academy Three", schoolmates Esa-Pekka Salonen, Kaija Saariaho, Magnus Lindberg and their friend Karita Matila. 

There'll also be a long Valery Gergiev series which should be good, too - Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky etc., the music he does best. Impossible to be bored when Gergiev's really connecting. Lots of Bruckner, too, with Haitink and Harding, and Belohlavek doing what he does extremely well, too.

And then, Pierre Boulez. Look at the programme on 29/4/12 - Debussy, Scriabin Poem of Ectasy and Szymanowski Violin Concerto no 1. The CD is ground breaking, an absolute must, so the live concert should be unmissable. Hear Scriabin and Szymanowski in true, blazing colour! Christian Tetzlaff, too. On 8th May, Boulez conducts Szymanowski's Symphony No 3 (The Song of the Night) with the same soloist, Steve Davislim as on the recording, though not the same orchestra, the Weiner Philharmoniker but the LSO know Boulez well. Programme includes Boulez specialities, Bartok Violin Concerto No 2 (Znaider) and the Concerto for Strings, Percussion  and Celeste.
PLEASE SEE My summary of the Barbican 2011 2012 Opera and Vocal offerings

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