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Total Immersion: BBC Symphony Orchestra - Varese

Sakari Oramo conducts the BBC Symphony Orchestra in Edgard Varese's complete and extraordinary music for orchestra, joined by the BBC Singers.

Total Immersion: Edgard Varèse - Sakari Oramo conducts the BBC Symphony Orchestra in Varese's complete and extraordinary music for orchestra, joined by the BBC Singers.

Presented by Martin Handley with Varèse expert Paul Griffiths.

Recorded at the Barbican on Saturday 6 May.

Varèse: Arcana
Varèse: Nocturnal +#

c.2010
Varèse: Poème électronique

c.2025
Varèse: Étude pour Espace [UK premiere of arrangement by Chou Wen-Chung] +
Varèse: Déserts

c.2115
Varèse: Tuning Up [arrangement by Chou Wen-Chung]
Varèse: Amériques

Allison Bell (soprano) #
BBC Singers +
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Sakari Oramo (conductor)

Edgard Varèse, even a half century after his death, remains a controversial yet cult figure. Born in France in 1883, he grew up in Italy, studied composition in Paris and Berlin, and knew all the major artistic figures of his day. His early music, influenced by Debussy, Strauss and Busoni, was destroyed in a Berlin warehouse fire in 1918. He emigrated to the US in 1915, and apart from a five-year stint in Paris, he remained in the US until his death in 1965. His unique voice and rigorous, though eclectic aesthetic, influenced countless younger composers even though his entire output can be performed in about three hours.

The BBC Symphony Orchestra's Total Immersion day at the Barbican on Saturday 6 May embraces every note that has survived by the maverick composer, presented in two concerts and foyer events. This final concert by the BBC Symphony Orchestra leads the listener from the still startlingly original Amériques of 1918-21, via the witty Tuning Up (arranged by Varèse pupil Chou Wen-chung) to the late Nocturnal.

2 hours, 30 minutes

Music Played

  • Part 1

    • Edgard Varèse

      Arcana for large orchestra

      Orchestra: BBC Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Sakari Oramo.
    • Edgard Varèse

      Nocturnal

      Singer: Allison Bell. Choir: BBC Singers. Orchestra: BBC Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Sakari Oramo.
  • Interval 1

    • Edgard Varèse

      Poème électronique

      Performer: Kees Tazelaar.
      • DECCA.
  • Part 2

    • Edgard Varèse

      Étude pour 'Espace'

      Orchestra: BBC Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Sakari Oramo.
    • Edgard Varèse

      Déserts for 15 Instruments percussion and tape

      Orchestra: BBC Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Sakari Oramo.
  • Part 3

    • Edgard Varèse

      Tuning Up

      Orchestra: BBC Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Sakari Oramo.
    • Edgard Varèse

      Amériques

      Orchestra: BBC Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Sakari Oramo.
  • Post-concert

    • Erik Satie

      Fugue from Aperçus désagréables

      Performer: Pascal Rogé. Performer: Jean‐Philippe Collard.
      • Satie - The Four-Handed Piano.
      • Decca.
      • 23.

Credit

Role Contributor
Performer BBC Symphony Orchestra

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