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Ulster Orchestra

Live from the Ulster Hall in Belfast, John Toal introduces an Ulster Orchestra concert of Nordic music and music for voice and orchestra by Sibelius, Grieg and Britten.

Live from the Ulster Hall in Belfast, John Toal introduces an Ulster Orchestra concert with BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist, soprano Ruby Hughes, and Finnish conductor Tuomas Hannikainen. The concert centres on this week's themes of music from the Nordic countries and music for voice and orchestra.

Sibelius was a twenty-seven year-old up-and-coming composer when he received a commission from a local student society to compose incidental music for a play in seven scenes that celebrated the area of Karelia. The music he wrote included today's overture. Sibelius had never written a theatre score before, but it turned out to be the first in a very distinguished series of works, culminating in 1925 with incidental music to Shakespeare's The Tempest - music from which brings today's live concert to a close. The Suite from The Tempest has been especially compiled for this broadcast by Tuomas Hannikainen, and features some numbers sung by Ruby Hughes. She also performs two songs from Grieg's incidental music to Ibsen's play Peer Gynt, Solveig's Song and Cradle Song, as well as Britten's Four French Songs - settings of texts by Paul Verlaine and Victor Hugo. The teenage Britten composed them in 1928 as a 27th wedding anniversary present for his parents, but they were not performed until over fifty years later by the Belfast-born soprano, Heather Harper.

During the concert interval there's more music inspired by Shakespeare, The King Lear Overture by Berlioz. And after the concert, Katie Derham introduces more recent performances by the Ulster Orchestra - including Bruch's Scottish Fantasy, recorded in the Ulster Hall earlier this month. The soloist is the Ulster Orchestra's leader Tamás Kocsis.

Live from the Ulster Hall, Belfast
Presented by John Toal

Sibelius: Karelia Overture, Op. 10
Grieg: Solveig's Song; Cradle Song (from Peer Gynt)
Britten: Quatre Chansons Françaises
Ruby Hughes (soprano),
Ulster Orchestra,
Tuomas Hannikainen (conductor).

2.40pm - INTERVAL
Berlioz: King Lear Overture
Ulster Orchestra,
Takuo Yuasa (conductor).

Live from the Ulster Hall, Belfast

Sibelius: Music from 'The Tempest'
Ruby Hughes (soprano),
Ulster Orchestra,
Tuomas Hannikainen (conductor).

Presented by Katie Derham
Bruch: Scottish Fantasy
Tamás Kocsis (violin),
Ulster Orchestra,
Andrew Litton (conductor).

2 hours, 30 minutes

Music Played

  • Hector Berlioz

    Le Roi Lear - overture Op.4

  • Max Bruch

    Scottish Fantasy