Katie Derham with music from the BBC NOW. Elgar: In the South. Schumann: Cello Concerto. Rostropovich: Moderato. Shostakovich: Symphony No 10. Plus works by Britten and Bridge.
BBC Hoddinott Hall is the home of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Part of the Wales Millennium centre, it provides the orchestra with a recording studio and concert hall with a 350 seat capacity. The hall is also an excellent venue for chamber music - as we'll discover in Radio 3's lunchtime concerts this week. During the afternoons, we'll be hearing from those artists who have given recitals here following them through to performances with the orchestra, and hearing BBC NOW in action in concert, in session, in Wales and beyond.
Following Alban Gerhardt's lunchtime concert, we continue with a concert he gave just a few weeks ago with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales at the Brangwyn Hall in Swansea. Principal Conductor Thierry Fischer opens with Elgar's warm and radiant concert overture, inspired by the Italian town of Alassio where the composer was holidaying to escape the British winter. Alban joins us for the Schumann concerto, a work not heard until after the composer's death. He says it has hidden difficulties that belie its sleek lines and tuneful melodies. The Swansea audience encouraged Alban to stay on the platform for an encore, a short showpiece by Russian cellist Rostropovich - who also loved to play the Schumann concerto.
Russian music follows, part of a concert given by Associate Guest Conductor Francois-Xavier Roth. Shostakovich's great tenth symphony was his personal and powerful response to the death of Stalin in 1953. Benjamin Britten was another great friend of Rostropovich; his American Overture was written in the states during the early years of the Second World War, when Britten, as a pacifist, escaped the turmoil in Europe. Alban returns to close our week of afternoons with Richard Hickox, one of the greatest champions of British Music in recent years. They play Oration by Frank Bridge, Britten's teacher and fellow-pacifist. Written in the 1930, Oration is an outcry against the futility of war, within a musical landscape haunted by personal images.
Presented by Katie Derham.
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