Southern Sunshine - Elgar, Saint-Saëns & Walton.
with the BBC Philharmonic
Friday 18 February 2011, 7pm
The Bridgewater Hall, Lower Mosley Street, Manchester M2 3WS
part of the BBC Philharmonic 2010-11 Season series
ELGAR In The South
SAINT-SAËNS Piano Concerto No.5 'Egyptian'
WALTON Symphony No.2
Yan Pascal Tortelier conductor
Philippe Cassard piano
As another northern winter draws to a close, what could be more uplifting than a dose of southern sunshine, even if only in the mind's ear?
Elgar's In the South takes its subtitle 'Alassio' from the name of the town where he and his family escaped the winter of 1903-4. It particularly suited Elgar, never one to compose hemmed in by walls: 'Then in a flash, it all came to me - streams, flowers, hills; the distant snow mountains in one direction and the blue Mediterranean in the other; the conflict of the armies on that very spot long ago, where I now ... and then, all of a sudden, I came back to reality. In that time I had composed the overture - the rest was merely writing it down.' He makes it sound so easy.
For Saint-Saëns Egypt was a favourite destination, hence the nickname of his final piano concerto, which he wrote in Luxor. There's exoticism aplenty, though hardly confined to Egypt itself, with tints of Javanese and Spanish music as well as an obvious Middle-Eastern tinge. It went down a storm with his audience, the composer himself at the keyboard.
Walton's Second Symphony, written on the island of Ischia where he'd settled in 1949, caused a rather less genial storm, with the musical press largely writing it off as hopelessly conservative. Timing is everything: the date was 1960, when the hardcore avant-garde thinking of Boulez, Stockhausen et al held sway to such an extent that anything that didn't conform was deemed irrelevant. Happily, history gives us a truer perspective and the Second is now recognised not only as one as of Walton's masterpieces but as one of the greatest symphonies of the 20th century.
How to get there
- Metrolink tram passengers should alight at St Peter’s Square. Discounted Metrolink vouchers are available to purchase from the Box Office or online when you buy your concert tickets. The discounted fare is £3.00 adult and £1.50 child; vouchers are valid for unlimited travel from any Metrolink stop after 9.30am.
- The nearest bus stops for major routes into the city centre are St Peter’s Square, Portland Street or Deansgate.
- The nearest rail stations are Deansgate and Oxford Road.
- If travelling by car, please allow plenty of time for your journey. For satellite navigation, the Hall’s postcode is M2 3WS. The nearest car parks are Park Avenue, NCP Manchester Central (formerly G-Mex), NCP Great Northern or NCP Oxford Street. Manchester Central car park is linked directly to The Bridgewater Hall by an underpass beneath Lower Mosley Street.
- The Bridgewater Hall welcomes deaf and disabled patrons. If you have any specific access requirements please ask the Box Office on 0161 907 9000.
test more information