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Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, live from Hull City Halls.

Alexander Shelley conducts the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and cellist Leonard Elschenbroich in a fairy-tale programme of Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov live at Hull City Halls.

Adam Tomlinson presents a concert given live by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor Alexander Shelley, and cellist Leonard Elschenbroich in a fairy-tale programme of Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov at Hull City Halls.

Are you sitting comfortably?... Rimsky-Korsakov's orchestral saga of love, adventure and intrigue in exotic lands, Scheherezade, is a kaleidoscopic tale-within-a-tale. Over 1001 nights, the eponymous princess narrator spins yarns of romance and derring-do - in order to save her neck from a murderous husband convinced of the "duplicity and infidelity of all women." Voyaging across oceans with Sinbad, the work was intended to be "beyond doubt an Oriental narrative of some numerous and varied fairy-tale wonders and not merely four pieces played one after another."

To open the concert, Tchaikovsky's ballet music to the 18th-century tale of the Sleeping Beauty. Based on the Grimm Brother's re-working, it's stuffed to the brim with magical imagery and tunes to match. The suite makes the most of it, with the Waltz and Rose Adagio from Act 1 and the birdsong of the "Bluebird" pas de deux of Act 3.

In between, cellist Leonard Elschenbroich join the orchestra for Tchaikovsky's graceful Variations on a Rococo Theme, the first compositional expression of the composer's love of Mozart and idealised 18th-century poise - perhaps surprising in a composer more readily known for heightened emotional states.

Tchaikovsky: Sleeping Beauty Suite, Op 66a; Variations on a Rococo Theme, Op 33


Rimsky-Korakov: Scheherazade, Op 35

Leonard Elschenbroich (cello)
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Alexander Shelley (conductor).

2 hours, 30 minutes

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