Valery Gergiev, principal conductor of the LSO, talks to Tom Service about his current preoccupations, including his Mahler cycle. And conductor Mark Elder and players celebrate 150 years of the Halle, Britain's oldest professional symphony orchestra.
In this programme
In January 1958, Charles Halle conducted the first ever Halle concert in the Free Trade Hall in Manchester to realise his belief 'that the whole musical education of the public had to be undertaken'. Today, Mark Elder's music directorship of the orchestra continues to reflect this ethos. Over the past 150 years, the orchestra has not been without its problems, including near-bankruptcy in 1998, but in the past ten years it has re-established its place amongst the finest British orchestras. Tom went to Manchester to visit the home of the Halle in the Bridgewater Hall. Mark Elder, chief executive John Summers and players explain how they are honouring the tradition of Britain's oldest professional orchestra, and taking it forward in the 21st century, as well as taking the message of great music out into the communities of Manchester.
The Halle's 150th Anniversary Concert takes place on 30th January in Bridgewater Hall, Manchester and will be broadcast on Performance on 3 on 4th February. The Halle will also be Artist Focus on BBC Radio 3, 5th-7th February 2008.
British tenor Mark Padmore turns the spotlight on one of the most secretive parts of the musical process: rehearsing. He reveals his thoughts on the problematic relationship between rehearsing and performing, as artists are expected to produce professional performances with minimal time to prepare. For Mark, more time to reflect, explore and experiment would lead to happier performers and more powerful results.
The charismatic Russian conductor Valery Gergiev brings a unique fire and passion to all the performances he conducts. With four key appointments around the globe, conducting the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera, the Mariinsky theatres and orchestra in St. Petersburg and most recently the London Symphony Orchestra, Gergiev's schedule is always hectic. Yet, it is Gergiev's energy which drives his remarkable career forward. Currently conducting all of the Mahler Symphonies with the LSO, he talks with Tom about Mahler and his vision for the orchestras he conducts.
The LSO Mahler Symphonies conducted by Gergiev will be released on the LSO Live label from April 2008 and you can hear the 1st and 4th Symphonies on Performance on 3 on 28th and 30th January 2008.