Louise Fryer presents Act 3 of Handel's opera Poro, Re dell'Indie. Plus Bridge: Enter Spring. Britten: Spring Symphony. Knussen: Choral. Julian Anderson: Sympony.
Louise Fryer presents the final act of Handel's Poro, recorded last year in Basel with Franco Fagioli as the eponymous Indian king, Veronica Cangemi as his wife Cleofide, James Gilchrist as Alexander the Great and conductor Enrico Onofri. The first two acts were broadcast in yesterday's programme. At the end of Act II Poro's wife Cleofide was incorrectly told of her husband's death. Act III begins as Poro meets with his sister Eissena and swears revenge on Alexander.
Then you can hear the second part of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra's recent concert in Rotterdam (the first half was in Wednesday's programme): two pieces about the transition from Winter to Spring by two British composers, Benjamin Britten and his favourite teacher Frank Bridge.
Bridge's orchestral rhapsody Enter Spring is full of bird-song and the sounds of the coming spring on the blustery Sussex Downs. Britten's Spring Symphony is, according to the composer, 'a symphony not only dealing with the Spring itself but with the progress of Winter to Spring and the reawakening of the earth and life which that means'.
Oliver Knussen met and was encouraged by Britten when he was young. Today we hear his Choral, written in the early '70s and completed when he was 20. The piece is written for a wind band split into various discrete choirs which play slow funeral processions counter to each other before accelerating and finally converging. This performance by the BBC Symphony Orchestra was conducted by the composer as part of his Total Immersion Barbican event last November.
Oliver Knussen has conducted and championed works by the composer who rounds off Afternoon on 3's focus on British Symphonies, Julian Anderson. His Symphony was written in 2003 when he was Composer-in-Association to the CBSO. It was influenced, in part, by Finnish artist Axel Gallen's Morning by a Lake, which is set in spring and depicts a lake, half-covered in ice, gradually melting.
Handel: Poro, Rè dell'Indie, HWV 28 - Act III
Poro, Indian King ..... Franco Fagioli (countertenor)
Erissena, Poro's sister ..... Sonia Prina (contralto)
Gandarte, Erissena's lover ..... Kristina Hammarström (contralto)
Cleofide, Poro's wife ..... Veronica Cangemi (soprano)
Alessandro, King of Macedonia ..... James Gilchrist (tenor)
Timagene, Alexander's general ..... David Wilson-Johnson (bass)
Basel Chamber Orchestra,
Enrico Onofri (conductor).
Bridge: Enter Spring
Britten: Spring Symphony, Op. 44
Eleanor Dennis (soprano),
Kelley O'Connor (mezzo-soprano),
Andrew Staples (tenor),
Laurens Collegium Rotterdam,
Laurens Cantoij Rotterdam,
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra,
Ilan Volkov (conductor).
Oliver Knussen: Choral, Op. 8
BBC Symphony Orchestra,
Oliver Knussen (conductor).
Julian Anderson: Symphony
BBC Symphony Orchestra,
Edward Gardner (conductor).
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